7:58 PM EDT, Thu June 22, 2017
13 mins ago
The Latest: 76ers take Fultz with top pick in NBA draft

The Latest: 76ers take Fultz with top pick in NBA draft

NEW YORK — The Latest on Thursday nights NBA draft (all times local):7:40 p.m.The Philadelphia 76ers have selected guard Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.Fultz averaged 23.2 points last season at Washington, tops among freshmen, and added 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game, the only Division I player to reach those stats. He walked across the stage Thursday night at Barclays Center wearing red sneakers made of basketballs.The 76ers had the No. 1 pick for the second straight year after trading with the Boston Celtics on Monday. Now they add Fultz to a promising young...
17 hours ago
Who's No. 3? NBA draft intrigue begins after Fultz, Ball

Who's No. 3? NBA draft intrigue begins after Fultz, Ball

NEW YORK — Markelle Fultz is still expected to be the No. 1 pick, though the destination has changed.Lonzo Ball wants to stay home with the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 2, and it seems surer than ever he will.The intrigue, then, starts with the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft Thursday.Thats where the Boston Celtics are scheduled to pick after moving down two spots in a trade with Philadelphia, giving the 76ers the right to select Fultz with their second No. 1 pick in two years.Forwards Josh Jackson of Kansas and Jayson Tatum of Duke are two players frequently mentioned as possibilities at the No....
19 hours ago
Lakers’ Nick Young declines player option, will become free agent

Lakers’ Nick Young declines player option, will become free agent

Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young declined his player option Wednesday, ensuring he will become a free agent.Young had been leaning toward declining the option for several weeks, but made it official at the deadline for making the decision. He was set to earn $5.7 million next season, and frees up that much salary cap space for the Lakers.“Pretty much just what teams are out there that could use a player like me,” Young said in April, when asked what would go into his decision. “What’s going on here. Pretty much you know you got the young guys. It’s going to be a more younger team...
19 hours ago
Bulpett: Only moves Celtics should make are ones that help them contend for NBA title

Bulpett: Only moves Celtics should make are ones that help them contend for NBA title

NEW YORK — I’m trying to put the Celtics and their best plans for tonight’s draft and the future into perspective with what we witnessed in the NBA Finals, and I keep thinking about a Patriots playoff game against Indianapolis in January 2005.The Colts were staring at a 20-3 deficit when they got the ball with 2:59 left in the game. To my great astonishment (and that of the gang of North Shore ne’er-do-wells gathered in Las Vegas for the weekend), Peyton Manning started throwing short passes. It was what the Pats defense was graciously giving him, but damn, if you were to have any...
19 hours ago
NBA Mock Draft: Celtics go for Jayson Tatum

NBA Mock Draft: Celtics go for Jayson Tatum

After much debate and calls into whether he should actually be trading the No. 3 pick in tonight’s draft, Danny Ainge still has a choice to make.One more call or move, and this annual mock draft could be scuttled, along with the rest.1. PHILADELPHIA: Markelle Fultz (G, Washington, freshman) – The fit here is near-perfect for the Sixers, with perfect to be determined later. Brett Brown still plans to use 6-foot-11 Ben Simmons as his point guard, and needs a corresponding scorer in the backcourt. The Celtics, who liked Fultz’ fit with Isaiah Thomas, had a similar plan at one point. But...
23 hours ago
Bob Ford: Sixers turn bad news into good luck

Bob Ford: Sixers turn bad news into good luck

During the three seasons in which Sam Hinkie steered the 76ers ship serenely into icebergs, the strategy was both obvious and intentional. He wanted the team to play badly enough to accrue high draft picks. In that, if in no other tangible way, it was a successful albeit painful course.On Thursday night, after a season in which both Hinkie and the premium on losing were gone, the Sixers again hold the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. It will be the fourth consecutive draft in which the Sixers have selected among the top three and the second straight time they get the top pick.Getting the first...
23 hours ago
Markelle Fultz: ‘I want to be the MVP’

Markelle Fultz: ‘I want to be the MVP’

NEW YORK — It wasn’t said in a boastful manner, but make no mistake: Markelle Fultz is expected to be selected as the first overall choice in the NBA draft Thursday by the 76ers, and he will enter the league with plenty of confidence and awfully high goals.During a session with the media at a midtown Manhattan hotel Wednesday, Fultz did not shy away from the expectations that normally attach to the top overall pick.“My goal, first of all, is to be the best young man and basketball player I can possibly be, Fultz said. “Coming in, I want to win rookie of the year and I’ve got a...
Jun 21, 2017
Danny Ainge keeping everyone guessing on eve of NBA Draft

Danny Ainge keeping everyone guessing on eve of NBA Draft

NEW YORK — The Celtics were still in the No. 3 draft position as the NBA wheels continued to turn on Wednesday, but as we’ve been reminded in these last trade-filled days, everything can change in a New York minute.Danny Ainge and Co. were back in Boston plotting strategy and looking to get back in on the transactional fun they kick-started by sending the No. 1 overall pick to Philadelphia.One NBA exec told the Herald that Ainge would love to find a way to get North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who isn’t rated as high as the third overall pick. Another said the Celts...
Jun 21, 2017
Gonzaga's Zach Collins tops list of post players in NBA draft

Gonzaga's Zach Collins tops list of post players in NBA draft

RALEIGH, N.C. — The role of the big man has changed in the NBA, and thats evident in the way teams pick centers and post players entering Thursdays draft.The style of play favors versatile players who can space the floor, or play inside and out. And that means players who spend more time in the post — such as Gonzagas Zach Collins or Wake Forests John Collins — have become harder to project for the NBA and lack the top-of-the-lottery value as in years past.Still, both players offer plenty of potential when it comes to interior scoring and rebounding, and they headline this years crop of...
Jun 21, 2017
Trade rumors swirl, as usual; Suns prepare for No. 4 pick

Trade rumors swirl, as usual; Suns prepare for No. 4 pick

PHOENIX — Tanking the season didnt quite get the desired results for the Phoenix Suns.They entered the draft lottery with the second-best odds to land the No. 1 pick. Instead, they are back at No. 4, a spot the Suns may have occupied anyway even if they hadnt benched a healthy Eric Bledsoe for the final 15 games of the season.Still, its a high pick in a draft that Suns general manager Ryan McDonough rates as among the best hes seen.This is my 15th draft now in the NBA since 2003, he said, and this is one of the top two or three groups. I felt that way throughout the college season and...
Jun 21, 2017
Markelle Fultz set for the stage of being No. 1 pick

Markelle Fultz set for the stage of being No. 1 pick

In the often unpredictable world of the NBA, there is some symmetry in Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons likely becoming teammates as pros.Barring an unforeseen change, Fultz will be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night, joining Simmons with the Philadelphia 76ers in an attempt to invigorate a once proud franchise. Two stars worthy of the top pick in consecutive years, neither of which was able to lead their college programs to team success in their one season on campus.LSU didnt reach the NCAA Tournament in Simmons lone year in Baton Rouge before becoming the top pick by the Sixers...
Jun 21, 2017
Hawks send center Dwight Howard to Hornets

Hawks send center Dwight Howard to Hornets

ATLANTA — Dwight Howards Atlanta homecoming was short-lived.The Hawks sent Howard and the No. 31 overall pick in Thursdays NBA draft to Charlotte for center Miles Plumlee, shooting guard Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick, getting the deal completed late Tuesday night.Howard, an eight-time All-Star and three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, will be playing for his third team in three seasons following a disappointing one-year return to his Atlanta hometown.We are excited to add a player of Dwights stature to our roster, Charlotte general manager Rich Cho said.He has been a very...
Jun 21, 2017
Celtics choice at No. 3 comes down to Jayson Tatum or Josh Jackson, for now

Celtics choice at No. 3 comes down to Jayson Tatum or Josh Jackson, for now

At this point, the Celtics might not see Josh Jackson unless they draft him.A team source confirmed an ESPN report that the Celtics were unable to arrange a workout with the Kansas forward yesterday. The source added, “Not yet,” when asked if the Celtics still hoped to schedule a session with Jackson before tomorrow night’s draft.According to ESPN, Jackson wants assurances before agreeing to a workout, including a promise the Celtics will hold onto the third pick, and that they will take him.The Celts, though, aren’t that far along in their evaluation process, or in Danny Ainge’s...
Jun 21, 2017
Buckley: Cavaliers are losing their way, opening the door to the East for the Celtics

Buckley: Cavaliers are losing their way, opening the door to the East for the Celtics

Do you get the sense that something is wrong and sadly out of whack with the Cleveland Cavaliers?I do. They haven’t lost LeBron James — not this offseason — but it’s very possible they have lost their pulse . . . lost their soul . . . lost their way.And if that’s what Danny Ainge believes, the Celtics boss should do everything in his power to push a pile of those first-round draft picks to the middle of the table and make a run for next year’s NBA championship. Or the NBA Finals, anyway.As to what, exactly, Ainge will do is anyone’s guess. He could affix his signature to...
Jun 20, 2017
Towering gladiator statue tells Russian soccer's history

Towering gladiator statue tells Russian soccer's history

MOSCOW — He towers over the crowds at Moscow's Spartak stadium, a metal gladiator atop a vast football.The meaning of the 25-meter high monument outside one of Russia's Confederations Cup stadiums is rarely clear to foreign fans, even as they shoot selfies in front of the giant.Some reckon he's an ancient Greek warrior while others have no clue at all.In fact, he represents the revolutionary history behind Russia's champion club, Spartak Moscow, and how it keeps an underdog mindset even when it's on top.