Chad Ford Breaks Down Potential 76ers, Celtics Trade in New 2017 NBA Mock Draft

With news of a potential trade between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers involving the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, ESPN's Chad Ford released a new mock draft Saturday.       

ESPN's Marc Stein and Zach Lowe reported Friday that the Celtics and Sixers were in discussions for a deal that would allow Philly to move up from No. 3 to No. 1.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical confirmed the news and added that the swap would involve the 76ers trading the No. 3 overall pick and a future first-round pick to Boston for the top selection in Thursday's draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Ford's mock draft 6.3 assumes the two sides will complete a deal, and in it, he has the 76ers selecting Fultz No. 1 overall.

Philadelphia has accrued some talented, young assets in recent years, but it has struggled to build its backcourt.

In securing Fultz, the Sixers would get a do-it-all guard to mesh with the likes of Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid—provided the latter two can stay healthy.

The trade would leave the Los Angeles Lakers largely unaffected, as Ford believes they will still go with UCLA guard Lonzo Ball at No. 2.

On Thursday, Ford reported that the Celtics were considering options other than Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick, and he specifically mentioned Kansas Jayhawks forward Josh Jackson.

An anonymous general manager told Ford the following about Celtics GM Danny Ainge and how he might view Jackson:

"I've picked Danny's brain for years. Jackson is an Ainge player all the way. Tough, athletic, long, versatile, elite motor. If he's keeping the pick, Jackson just to me, far and away, is the most Celtics-type player for them to draft. From all my conversations with them, I'm convinced they'll take Jackson No. 1."

Although Jackson seems like less of a sure thing than Fultz, he is likely a more sensible fit in terms of what Boston needs.

The Celtics already have a loaded backcourt that includes the likes of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart.

They don't have a long, athletic wing the caliber of Jackson, though, and adding him to the mix could give them a better chance to compete with the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.

Jackson averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per game during his one season with the Jayhawks. He also shot a respectable 37.8 percent from beyond the arc, which speaks to his versatility.

Perhaps the biggest key in a trade with the 76ers, however, would be landing a future first-round pick, especially if it is the Lakers' unprotected 2018 first-rounder.

Boston is dealing from a position of strength, and if it indeed covets Jackson as a No. 1 overall selection, the possible trade could go a long way toward setting it up to vie for championships for many years to come.

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