It goes without saying that judging a career off a Summer League and a preseason isn’t necessarily foolproof, but Celtics president Danny Ainge continues to look straight-up brilliant for opting to trade the 2017 No. 1 overall pick to the 76ers this past summer.
Not only were the Celtics still able to get a player they viewed as their guy in Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 overall pick (and acquiring another potential lottery pick in 2018 or 2019 in the process), but their early assessment of Markelle Fultz seems to be on point, as Fultz will reportedly begin his first NBA season on the bench.
According to Sixers head coach Brett Brown, Fultz will start on the bench due to a lack of playing time in the preseason (Fultz was limited by a knee and shoulder injury in training camp, and his Summer League was limited by an ankle injury), and his bench role means Philly will roll with a starting backcourt of Ben Simmons and Jerryd Bayless.
Of course it’s worth noting that Fultz would have also had a bench role had the Celtics followed through and drafted him, as he would be behind either Isaiah Thomas or Kyrie Irving on their depth chart. But Fultz’s inability to beat out a player like Bayless seems a bit telling, even with the Sixers clearly wanting to have some shooters around Simmons.
And some already mounting injury troubles for Fultz should set off some alarms, too.
Fultz is just one of a few recent No. 1 overall picks to not immediately have a starting role with his team. Ex-Raptor Andrea Bargnani and former Cavalier Anthony Bennett are among the group. Neither Bargnani nor Bennett are in the NBA today.
Tatum, meanwhile, will also begin his first season with the Celtics as a bench piece, but is expected to be the C’s premier off-the-bench weapon after a solid preseason.
And the Celtics also have another pick coming their way from the Fultz-to-Philly trade, be it the 2018 Lakers’ first-round pick should it fall between No. 2 and No. 5 overall or the higher 2019 first-round pick from the Sixers or Kings, as long it’s not No. 1 overall.
Full article @ Jayson Tatum over Markelle Fultz continues to look like the right play by Celtics
Source: GreenStreet Blog