In two trades that took place years before the 2017 draft, Jayson Tatum eventually went to the Celtics at No. 3.
First, the pick was decided to be the Sacramento Kings. However, in the 2015 offseason, in a move that could be described as asinine (or crazy), Sacramento agreed to trade Nik Stauskas (coming off a rookie season in which he averaged 4.4 points) and veterans Carl Landry and Jason Thompson for a 2019 first-round pick and first-round picks in 2016 and 2017. Traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
What did the Kings receive in exchange for all that juicy draft capital?
Draft rights to Arturas Magnatis and Luka Mitrovic.
Neither player has yet played a minute of NBA basketball.
And why did they do that?
They lifted themselves off the high salaries of Landry and Thompson to make a splash in free agency that year. And by a lot, we mean the former is owed $6.5 million and the latter $6.4 million next season. Landry then had one year left on his deal (worth an additional $6.5 million), but Thompson’s deal became non-guaranteed after one campaign.
The Kings were able to land one of their top free agent targets that year in Rajon Rondo, who played one season with the club and was impressive, averaging 11.9 points and a league-leading 11.7 assists. But the team still missed the playoffs by going 33-49.
So basically, Sacramento traded three extremely valuable draft assets for one year and lost them to the Bulls a year later when Chicago refused to pay what they had to offer.
It’s not hard to see why Vlad Divac wouldn’t call the shots there.
Regardless, the draft pick that was Tatum will be traded again, this time by the Sixers to the Celtics. This deal was put together by the two rivals to help Philadelphia get the last leg up and turn the franchise into a contender.
The 76ers would trade the No. 3 pick to Boston, along with a 2018 first-round pick that they would have received from the Lakers if that pick fell between the second and fifth spots. When that doesn’t happen, the pick the Celtics got from the Sixers is the No. 14 pick in the 2019 draft, a pick originally owned by the Kings. That pick would be Romeo Langford, so a pretty pointless loss for the 76ers (and the Kings, for that matter).
In return, Philadelphia acquired the No. 1 pick and took advantage of the consensus top prospect on the board that year, Markelle Fultz.
Frankly, the Sixers got a little lucky there, as that trade could turn into gold for them if Fultz develops into a player. as well as. Fultz was supposed to form an elite young Big 3 in Philadelphia with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Instead, he’s now a member of the Orlando Magic after a knee injury, and had the 76ers held on to their pick, Tatum would have been one of the best players in the league.
A Tatum-Embiid tandem doesn’t look half bad in hindsight, does it?