The Philadelphia 76ers put their latest trade to good use on Thursday by selecting Markelle Fultz with the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA entry draft.
The Los Angeles Lakers used the second pick to choose University of California Los Angeles point guard Lonzo Ball.
The 76ers acquired the top pick from the Boston Celtics a week ago, and the choice of Fultz fits in nicely with their youth movement.
“It is unbelievable. This is something I have been dreaming about,” said Fultz, who played for the University of Washington Huskies last season.
The 19-year-old Fultz, who is the club’s fourth top overall pick, averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals over 25 games last season for a Huskies team that was 9-22.
He joins a young squad that features Australian forward Ben Simmons, another top draft pick who missed all of last season with a foot injury; Jahlil Okafor and 2017 NBA rookie of the year finalists Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.
That young core of talent is expected to provide a solid base to rebuild the team.
Since 2003, the 76ers have won only one playoff series, and they have only one winning season since 2005. The Sixers went 28-54 last season.
The 19-year-old Ball had 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals a game for the UCLA Bruins last season. No other US university player averaged 14 points with six rebounds and six assists a game as well.
“It is a dream come true and a blessing,” said Ball.
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