With the Celtics having the best odds of landing the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft due to their pick swap with the Nets, people around the NBA are projecting how one of the NCAA’s best players will fit into a team that just won 53 games. One name in that discussion is presumed first-overall pick Markelle Fultz out of Washington.
Fultz is aware that his name is on the tongue of teams across the league, as evident by Andrew Sharp’s profile of Fultz for Sports Illustrated today. He goes as far as mentioning how he could wind up on the Celtics this summer while playing alongside fellow Washington product Isaiah Thomas. Sharp wrote the following:
He's been close with Isaiah Thomas since their workouts at Washington this summer. "I've talked to him a lot," Fultz says. And yes, the family is well aware that Boston currently has the best odds at the No. 1 pick. "We always talk about the opportunity. That would be the craziest backcourt. The way he scores, the way I can pass, and the way I can score… we can switch between the one and two."
The prospect of adding Fultz this summer has left Thomas’ longterm future in Boston in doubt, given that he’s 28 years old and will likely demand a max contract when he reaches free agency next summer. Fultz, however, seems to think that he fits well with Thomas in the Celtics’ backcourt.
Thomas praised Fultz as well after practicing with the Huskies team this past season as well. Here’s what Sharp wrote:
Fultz cemented his place at the top of the draft by dominating at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland. From there, he went to Chile and starred for the USA 18-and-under team. They won gold, and he won MVP, and suddenly everyone around the NBA knew his name. The down year at Washington hasn't tempered anyone's enthusiasm for what's next. Boston's Isaiah Thomas is a Huskie alum who worked out with the team this fall, and he brightened when I asked about Fultz earlier this year. "He's special," he said. "He's got the full package."
Fultz likes IT. Thomas likes Fultz. This looks like a match made in Boston heaven if the Celtics land the top pick during the NBA Draft Lottery on May 16th.