Sixers do as expected, select Markelle Fultz 1st overall


It's just another step in the process.

We've known for a few days now that the Sixers traded up to the top spot in the draft to acquire Washington freshman point guard Markelle Fultz.

ESPN will cover the Barclays Center - hosting the NBA Draft for the fifth consecutive year - with 17 cameras, including three jibs on the two set locations, an RF handheld and RF Steadicam, and a smattering of Marshall POV cameras.

There's also Dario Saric, the global player who took over in the Rookie of the Year race when Embiid seemed to falter.

Then from No. 3, Bryan Colangelo netted a great deal with Boston for the No. 1 overall selection that includes a possibility of either next year's Lakers pick or the following season's Kings pick with a whole slew of protections attached to them. They ended up missing the NCAA Tournament, just like Ben Simmons at LSU last season.

Lonzo Ball entered his lone season at UCLA as a soft-spoken and dynamic player expected to be taken near the top of the draft. Bogut had to be traded to the Warriors to get his ring. Denver Nuggets 14. Miami Heat 15. Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) is the only other Conference of Champions member to earn a No. 1 pick as he was selected in 1969. Having the No. 1 pick does not guarantee success.

"It's insane, I couldn't ask for anything more, to be able to learn from (Johnson) every day is truly a blessing", Ball said. "That's our goal and that's where we want to be".

"He knows we're hungry", Valentin added.

The Raptors were talking to many teams about a deal, one involving centre Jonas Valanciunas, but at press time, didn't have a deal. He's a solid rebounder and developing jump shooter, and all the pieces are there for Fultz to become one of the league's top guards. It helps that he went to famed DeMatha high, which has produced a number of top National Basketball Association players, including Jerami and Jerian Grant, Victor Oladipo, Keith Bogans, Danny Ferry, Adrian Dantley and a host of others. The lack of experience is among the core group is a concern.

The program won 28 games last season, which, incredibly, was nearly triple the total of the season before. If these players do their part this season, the 2018 Draft could be radically different than this year's version.

The Sacramento Kings selected Petersburg native Frank Mason III with the fourth pick of the second round and the 34th pick overall. That's a lot of flexibility.

Often times, the 2003 draft is known for it's loaded top selections. She says Fultz has remained grounded despite the circus atmosphere.

Fultz then walked down the hallway and made eye contact with Jones.

It would be the first time National Basketball Association title for Michalovic and Ireland, who were 14 years from being born when Doc, Mo and Moses visited the promised land. And even that may not be enough. He acknowledged he was open to exploring better options.

"Speed kills and you can't teach it", said Fox.

In other words, Sixers fans, be patient. They were lucky that Monk fell to them and will need to put him in a position to succeed in order to help him blossom as a young player.

History has proven that. There is no doubt that having the No. 1 pick in a major plus, but it is not an instant cure for all the team's ills.