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The Celtics may be able to trade with the Lakers and pick Markelle Fultz, Getty Images

The Lakers – Celtics rivalry is the best rivalry in sports … except when it isn’t. And it is not a rivalry more often than it is, because it’s rare that both teams are good at the same time.

It was a rivalry from 2008-12, when Kobe was still Kobe and the Celtics still had title aspirations with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Before ’08 though, it hadn’t really been a rivalry in over 20 years. And throughout the 1970s, the two teams did not square off in an NBA Finals at all.

The fact that the rivalry is currently subdued pave the way for a unique opportunity for both franchises this summer. They could very well trade with one another at the top of the 2017 NBA Draft.

If you believe all the buzz coming out of LA (and there’s no reason not too), the Lakers will stop at nothing to draft Lonzo Ball. The Celtics have the best odds of nabbing the No. 1 overall pick, so for the sake of argument, let’s say they land it.


Danny Ainge will play hardball with the Lakers, and look to get something extra out of them. This does not necessarily mean that Ainge is against picking at the top of this draft. If the Celtics move back to the No. 2 or 3 spot, look for Ainge to try and acquire Washington point guard Markelle Fultz.

I can hear Celtics fans already (WHAT ABOUT ISAIAH?!!!!). Well, here’s the thing – I believe Ainge thinks that Isaiah and a point guard the caliber of Fultz (who is 6-foot-4), could start in a backcourt together. Ainge has always been a fan of small ball, dating all the way back to when he used to coach the Phoenix Suns. He used to trot out lineups with three or four guards in the late 1990s (Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd, Wesley Person, Rex Chapman), and as the GM of the Celtics he’s never exactly drafted in order to fill positions.

Expect Magic Johnson and Ainge to talk next month, especially if top three draft order of Boston, Phoenix and Los Angeles remains the same.


1. Los Angeles Lakers (via Boston): Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA

2. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, SG, Kansas

3. Boston Celtics (via LA): Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington

4. Philadelphia 76ers: Dennis Smith, PG, NC State

5. Orlando Magic: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke

6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State

7. New York Knicks: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky

8. Sacramento Kings: Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona

9. Dallas Mavericks: Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga

10. Sacramento Kings: Jarrett Allen, C, Texas

11. Charlotte Hornets: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky,

12. Detroit Pistons: John Collins, PF, Wake Forest

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13. Denver Nuggets: Ivan Rabb, PF, California

14. Miami Heat: Terrance Ferguson, SG, USA

15. Portland Trail Blazers: Bam Adebayo, PF, Kentucky

16. Chicago Bulls: Frank Ntilikina, PG, France

17. Milwaukee Bucks: PJ Dozier, SG, South Carolina

18. Indiana Pacers: Justin Patton, C, Creighton

19. Atlanta Hawks: Tyler Lydon, PF, Syracuse

20. Portland Trail Blazers: Dwayne Bacon, SG, Florida State

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA

22. Brooklyn Nets: Johnathan Motley, PF, Baylor

23. Toronto Raptors: Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville

24. Utah Jazz: Rodions Kurucs, SF, Latvia

25. Orlando Magic: Wesley Iwundu, SG, Kansas State

26. Portland Trail Blazers: Harry Giles, PF, Duke

27. Brooklyn Nets: Edmond Sumner, PG, Xavier

28. Los Angeles Lakers: Jawun Evans, PG, Oklahoma State

29. San Antonio Spurs: Kyle Kuzma, PF, Utah

30. Utah Jazz: Tony Bradley, C, North Carolina

31. Atlanta Hawks: OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana

32. Phoenix Suns: Semi Ojeleye, SF, SMU

33. Orlando Magic: Luke Kennard, SG, Duke

34. Sacramento Kings: Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA

35. Orlando Magic: Rawle Alkins, SG, Arizona

36. Philadelphia 76ers: Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina

37. Boston Celtics: Kobi Simmons, PG, Arizona

38. Chicago Bulls: Omer Yurtseven, C, NC State

39. Philadelphia 76ers: Caleb Swanigan, PF, Purdue

40. New Orleans Pelicans: Monte Morris, PG, Iowa State

41. Charlotte Hornets: Jaron Blossomgame, SF, Clemson

42. Utah Jazz: Nigel Williams-Goss, PG, Gonzaga

43. Houston Rockets: Jordan Bell, PF, Oregon

44. New York Knicks: Jonah Bolden, PF, Australia

45. Philadelphia 76ers: Alec Peters, PF, Valparaiso

46. Houston Rockets: Sindarius Thornwell, SG, South Carolina

47. Indiana Pacers: Josh Hart, SG, Villanova

48. Milwaukee Bucks: Mathias Lessort, PF, France

49. Denver Nuggets: Frank Mason, PG, Kansas

50. Philadelphia 76ers: Anzejs Pasecniks, C, Latvia

51. Denver Nuggets: Aleksandar Vezenkov, PF, Bulgaria

52. Washington Wizards: Moses Kingsley, C, Arkansas

53. Boston Celtics: Dillon Brooks, SF, Oregons

54. Phoenix Suns: Trevon Bluiett, SG, Xavier

55. Utah Jazz: Andrew White, SF, Syracuse

56. Boston Celtics: Cam Oliver, PF, Nevada

57. Brooklyn Nets: Chris Boucher, PF, Oregon

58. New York Knicks: VJ Beachem, SF, Notre Dame

59. San Antonio Spurs: Isaac Humphries, C, Kentucky

60. Atlanta Hawks: Alpha Kaba, PF, France

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