76ers, Celtics fans set to pack arena for draft


The Boston Celtics made the first move of this year's National Basketball Association draft days before it began when they traded the No. 1 overall pick to Philadelphia to build on an already rich cache of future selections.

The 2017 NBA Draft is no different than the previous one - a lot of youngsters and foreign-born players.

Three days after working out in Boston, Duke's Jayson Tatum was picked by the Celtics at No. 3 in the NBA Draft at Barclays Center on Thursday. Jackson averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists a game. Boston selected Jaylen Brown with its first-round pick in 2016.

Asked what he planned to do with his newfound riches, Tatum said, "I would love to pay that mortgage out".

"It's great", he said. I think that's really special, though, because coming in I think we can learn a lot together, and over the years we can be something really special and just being able to grow together, I think that'll make our team chemistry a lot better.

The Celtics landed the No. 3 slot after they traded away the No. 1 pick in the draft to the Philadelphia Sixers.

He turned out to be correct. "This NBA draft will probably feature 14 or 15 freshmen and one, two, three worldwide teenagers in the first round", said Fraschilla, who sees the draft similar to baseball. "For me and my mom for everything we've been through and even for my Dad and everybody back home in St. Louis and the Duke family and everyone is happy for me".

That won't preclude him from revisiting some of those discussions once free agency opens next month, though.

"I'm so grateful", Jackson said, "but (the Pelicans) weren't in my mind, to be honest". "We anticipate being very active to try to improve our roster".

More news: GOP's challenge: finding votes for Senate health care bill

When asked about Minnesota, who is scheduled to pick seventh, "They can go in a couple different directions", noted Fraschilla.

"I think that, in this kind of position-less league, those guys are really valuable", Stevens said.

As Bodner noted, Tatum is a smooth athlete and is fantastic in isolation, using a diverse array of moves to create separation off a defender or easy looks at the basket.

Tatum said he stayed in contact with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski throughout the draft process, and it was Coach K who encouraged him to take the Celtics up on their last-minute invitation.

"I definitely thought about it", Tatum said. "He really wanted me to go up there and work out for them".

It made Tatum not the compromise, but the best fit for a team that's still in position to be a big player in free agency this summer. And I think that's the most special thing about me.

It is the second year in a row Boston has taken a wing player with the No. 3 pick, following Cal's Jaylen Brown a year ago.

"That's a great compliment, especially with all the great guys in this class". "But after they got the third pick, we tried to schedule something for me to get out there, but it was just scheduling issues, and it was a little too late for me to get out there".