76ers take Fultz, Lakers grab Ball to start NBA draft

What will La Var Ball do if the Lakers pass on his son

Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball were front and center when all the expected top picks took their traditional photo before Thursday night's National Basketball Association draft.

Fultz, the former University of Washington point guard, averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 25 games in his only collegiate season.

"(There) are going to be times where maybe Ben brings up the ball or times where I'm bringing up the ball", Fultz said.

The performance at Washington capped a meteoric rise on the amateur level for Fultz. I can't speak for other schools, but the way they did it at Gonzaga was so special. The team has been in need of a go-to scorer and can not head into next season relying on Joel Embiid when it is unclear how many games he will play.

The first seven picks in in the draft were freshmen, including Markelle Fultz, who was the No. 1 selection by the Philadelphia 7ers.

In a video shared by ESPN's Rachel Marcus, Fultz said of the shoes: "This is real basketball leather". "I know the organization does".

Already picking first in lieu of a trade with the Boston Celtics, the Sixers are reportedly probing the trade market once more in an attempt to work their way into another late first round pick. But between his athleticism and polished game, Fultz will have no problem immediately scoring and making plays against National Basketball Association defenses, especially when you consider how much more spacing he'll have in a modern National Basketball Association offense rather than his cramped Washington team. Simmons has yet to show what he's capable of, and now with Fultz there, it opens up plenty of possibilities.

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Since a pre-draft trade that sent last year's No.2 pick D'Angelo Russell to Brooklyn, the Lakers were expected to select the UCLA standout, who had also expressed his desire to become a Laker multiple times before the draft. However, due to injury, Simmons didn't appear in a game last season.

Ball was projected to be picked by the Lakers' new front office of Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. LaVar Ball had said his son would only play for the Lakers, and it was clear that would happen when Lonzo got a phone call with the Lakers on the clock. And the Lakers' portion of the crowd applauded.

With its No. 3 pick, Boston took Jayson Tatum of Duke. He is the sixth first-round pick since 2002 for the Dawgs and the third over the last two drafts as Marquese Chriss (Phoenix Suns, pick No. 8) and Dejounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs, pick No. 29) were both first-round selections a year ago. Since the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are the most recent champions and top teams, they don't get first pick. They will reportedly trade the pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for picks No. 15 and 20.

Chicago Bulls traded three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall pick to Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 overall draft pick.

For now, though, it's Ntilikina to Knicks.

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