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Celtics' president Danny Ainge suggests they would not have picked Markelle Fultz No. 1 in NBA Draft

Celtics' president Danny Ainge suggests they would not have picked Markelle Fultz No. 1 in NBA Draft

In trading the No. 1 pick to the Philadelphia Sixers, the Boston Celtics essentially passed on the opportunity to select Markelle Fultz, a star point guard who has emerged as the best prospect in the draft by most accounts. The Celtics, however, may not be so convinced about the University of Washington guard.

In explaining the deal on Monday, Celtics president Danny Ainge had this to day:

Well, that is interesting. That means the Celtics are much higher on another prospect which could mean Josh Jackson of Kansas, De'Aaron Fox of Kentucky, Jayson Tatum of Duke or maybe even Lonzo Ball of UCLA, if they think he will fall past the Lakers at No. 2.

If Ainge is right and the Celtics do pick a better player than Fultz, then this trade will go down as a major success for them. They got this year's No. 3 pick from the Sixers and a future first round pick depending on protections.

Who do the Celtics like better than Fultz? We should find out Thursday, unless the Lakers pick him before they are on the clock, of course.

[RELATED: Projected No. 1 pick in NBA Draft Markelle Fultz signs shoe deal]

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Cavs discussing three-team deal to trade Kevin Love for Paul George, report says

Cavs discussing three-team deal to trade Kevin Love for Paul George, report says

The NBA Draft has come and gone, but the Pacers remain active in trying to trade superstar Paul George. According to a new report, the Nuggets have emerged as a possible partner in a three-team deal to land George in Cleveland.

The report comes from ESPN's Marc Stein and Chris Haynes, who tweeted these rumors on Sunday:

If this were to go through, the Cavs would end up with George and Faried, while losing Love. Faried doesn't exactly qualify as a fourth star but the duo of them could, in theory, make the Cavs better than they were with just Love. Faried could fill the rebounding void and George would make them better defensively.

If Love goes to Denver, like Stein says, it would be interesting to see what goes to the Pacers. They are, after all, giving up the best player in the deal.

[RELATED: Winners, losers, sleepers from 2017 NBA draft]

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It doesn't sound like the Mavs will let Nerlens Noel hit NBA free agency

It doesn't sound like the Mavs will let Nerlens Noel hit NBA free agency

NBA teams hoping to acquire a power forward in next month's free agency may be left with one less option, as the Dallas Mavericks appear determined to re-sign Nerlens Noel, a restricted free agent.

That's according to Marc Stein of ESPN:

Noel, 23, was traded to Dallas from the Sixers back in February for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and two second round picks. He played 22 games for the Mavs, who did not qualify for the playoffs.

Trading for Noel represented a risk, given he does not have a contract for next season. But Dallas should have the opportunity to match whatever offer he gets in free agency if he indeed makes it that far.

Noel, though, could be expensive. He's very young and holds averages of 10 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks per game through three NBA seasons. Durability is a concern, as he only played in 51 games last season due to a surgery he had in October. But he played in 67 games the season before and 71 the year before that.

Noel was the sixth overall pick in 2013, the same year the Wizards took Otto Porter third overall.

[RELATED: Winners, losers, sleepers from 2017 NBA draft]