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NBA Draft Rumors: Celtics and 76ers talking deal for top pick; Lakers could trade Julius Randle

It looks like the Sixers are primed to land the Celtics’ top pick, but the Lakers could make a run at it using Julius Randle.

2015 NBA Draft Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The 2017 NBA Draft is just under one week away.

For much of the pre-draft banter and process, the expectation has been the Celtics would take Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick, followed by the Lakers taking Lonzo Ball at No. 2.

However, we could be getting a shakeup before the draft even begins. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Celtics and 76ers have been talking about a trade involving the No. 1 overall pick.

One would assume this means Boston would move down to the No. 3 pick, while Philly would move to No. 1 and take Fultz. If the 76ers stay at No. 3, De’Aaron Fox has been a player rumored to be in the mix there.

But if the Celtics are on the clock at No. 3, it sounds like they strongly prefer Josh Jackson. That means Fox probably slips to No. 5 to the Kings, though he’s been picking up some steam for No. 4 to the Suns.

However, the Lakers could make their own deal to move up to the top spot. According to DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony, the Lakers are high enough on Fultz that they could deal star forward Julius Randle and the no. 2 pick to move up to No. 1:

“Word out of LA is Markelle Fultz “murdered” his Lakers workout yesterday. May be “the best one” they’ve seen. Sadly, likely all for naught. I’m told Fultz played competitively 2 on 2, even though that wasn’t agreed to in advance. Apparently shot ball very well.

“Multiple sources have told me that Magic (Johnson) “is in love” with Fultz. May try to move up to #1, possibly with a Julius Randle + #2 pick offer.”

Randle has become a very good power forward for the Lakers, but it sounds like he’s become expendable under new management.