Pelicans get Jackson from Charlotte in draft deal


With so much trade speculation about All-Stars such as Paul George and Jimmy Butler, there hasn't been as much focus as usual leading into Thursday on the players who are in the draft.

Despite the lack of communication with the Celtics, Jackson said he was still open to playing for Boston.

Well, after the flight was booked and boarded by Ainge, the president of basketball ops, along with head coach Brad Stevens and assistant GM Mike Zarren, Jackson's camp canceled the workout.

Markkanen was asked about potentially playing with or replacing Porzingis, who team president Phil Jackson told MSG Network on Wednesday the Knicks are taking calls about after he left NY without attending his exit interview. "I would love to play in Boston".

"I think I can bring a lot of defensive versatility, offensive versatility", Jackson said.

But his actions told an entirely different story. Jackson did not work out with the Celtics in advance of the draft and in a post-pick interview with ESPN acknowledged that may have affected his draft stock.

Boston, which moved down to No. 3 when it traded the No. 1 overall pick to Philadelphia, chose the 6-foot-8 Tatum to bolster its front court.

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Boston's attempt at working out Jackson went horribly wrong. "They canceled a workout on us when we flew out to Sacramento and they just made a decision to cancel it as we flew - it was Brad and I and Mike Zarren, it was cross-country".

Although it was never said explicitly, Ainge had a feel for what was happening.

"So there was something that he didn't want to play for the Celtics", he said. "Flew cross-country. there's nothing to do in Sacramento".

"I think that he's a guy that we thought really highly of from Day 1", Stevens said. "We're excited to have him aboard".

A year after almost half the draft - a record 27 of the 60 picks - were global players, French guard Frank Ntilikina and Finnish forward Lauri Markkanen, who played a year at Arizona, are two of the top worldwide players.

Despite not having had a chance to speak with Jackson or getting to work him out, Ainge said the Celtics still had not ruled out drafting him. "The two guys that went ahead of me, they're great players, but I'm glad at how it worked out, so I'm happy", Tatum said of Fultz and Ball.

"The draft was very even we felt at the top", Ainge said.