With the NBA Draft coming up on Thursday night, The Comeback spoke with ESPN’s basketball insider Jeff Goodman, who will be one of the reporters during the network’s draft coverage from Brooklyn.
Included among the topics we discussed are likely top overall pick Markelle Fultz’s fit with the Philadelphia 76ers, what the Boston Celtics might do with the third overall pick now that they traded down with Philly, potential draft sleepers and the possibility of a big draft night trade involving Paul George, Kristaps Porzinigs or Jimmy Butler.
Here is the full interview:
Goodman, who lives in the Boston area, revealed that he had recently shot an interview with Fultz where they drove together from the Celtics’ practice facility to the TD Garden and walked around the arena, in anticipation of Boston taking Fultz first overall.
“So that has been scrapped now, obviously. That was probably going to run before the draft, and now it looks— barring something insane— that he’s gonna be drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers.”
Goodman liked the Celtics-Sixers trade for both teams, and broke down Fultz’s fit with Philadelphia:
“I think Fultz fits well with Ben Simmons because Fultz is a scoring guard. Ben Simmons is a facilitating forward, and I think defensively they can complement each other.”
As for what Boston is now going to do with the third pick, whether taking a player or trading it for a superstar, Goodman thinks that’s still up in the air.
“I think they end up going Tatum at the end of the day, but it’s a tough one to read because Jackson didn’t come in for a workout to Boston.”
Goodman spent some time with star UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball and his family recently in New York at a diner, and it looks like the Ball family is going to get what it hoped for in being selected No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, especially after they traded D’Angelo Russell to Brooklyn.
“He’s still pretty optimistic here that Lonzo’s gonna be a Laker,” referring to Lonzo’s dad LaVar. “He’s spoken it into existence, and it does look like it’s gonna come true for him, which is kind of amazing.”
Goodman then broke down the situation the Lakers face with Paul George, who reportedly wants to sign in L.A. when he becomes a free agent after the 2017-2018 season.
“Everybody thinks he’s gonna end up there. The question is, if you’re Magic Johnson, you’ve gotta play this game a little bit because you don’t want to give up anything. You want to get him next year in free agency and give up nothing. But if you feel like there’s something out there where somebody else is gonna get him, and you’re worried about that team potentially keeping him— whether it’s a Cleveland or Boston, it’s probably gotta be a team in the [championship] hunt— then do you give up something?”
For the full interview with Goodman, including breaking down players in the top 10 like Jonathan Isaac, Malik Monk, Lauri Markkanen and his ping-pong game against De’Aaron Fox, click on the play button seen above.