76ers take Fultz with top pick in NBA draft

It's the second straight year the 76ers have owned the first overall selection.

Just like in 2016, the first four picks went in the exact same order.

Over the past 10 seasons, only two other freshmen had a better scoring average in college: Kevin Durant for Texas in 2006-07 and Michael Beasley for Kansas State in 2007-08. From left, Markelle Fultz, De'Aaron Fox and Donovan Mitchell gather with other draft prospects on stage for a group photo before the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in NY.

But look closer, and the 2017 Draft wasn't exactly the same as in 2016.

As rumors flew around the Knicks and the availability of Kristaps Porzingis, the top two selections in the National Basketball Association draft held true to form as points as Fultz went to the Sixers, who traded up from three, and Ball was selected by the Lakers in the draft Thursday at Barclays Center.

"It's insane, I couldn't ask for anything more, to be able to learn from (Johnson) every day is truly a blessing", Ball said. "I mean, this is something I've been dreaming about since I was a kid, just playing in the National Basketball Association, and playing for this organization is going to be great".

The Philadelphia 76ers selected University of Washington guard Markelle Fultz with the first overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday, bolstering the team's young core by adding the 19-year-old playmaker.

"This city has to feel fantastic", coach Brett Brown said. "You know, my dad was right there, my brothers". "If there were only away Philadelphia could take the number one pick away from Boston", that was the thinking. This was the package that nabbed the top pick in the draft. He found one in Butler, who the Wolves acquired along with the 16th overall pick for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick, which ended up being - what else? - another freshman, Arizona's Lauri Markkanen.

The top 10 was rounded out with two more freshmen: Dennis Smith Jr. of North Carolina State to Dallas at No. 9, and Gonzaga's Zach Collins at No. 10 with the Kings' second pick, which was later dealt to Portland for a pair of picks. Besides taking Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox at the fifth position, the Kings also added UNC's Justin Jackson and Duke's Harry Giles.

Fultz, who played just 25 games in college, said it was always his dream to be the top pick and wasn't bothered that Boston traded the chance to take him. Also, the National Basketball Association continued trending younger, as the first four-year college player selected was Derrick White, who went 29th overall to San Antonio. When Philadelphia received the third pick in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery, there was still joy that beamed around the fanbase.

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