Potential No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz told ESPN he has had multiple conversations with Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge since the draft combine earlier this month and is hopeful of being selected first in the June 22 NBA draft.
“I’ve talked to Danny a few times, and they want to get me to come out there for a visit,” Fultz told ESPN on Tuesday. “They just want to get a chance to know me better as a person.”
“I want to be the No. 1 pick really bad,” Fultz added. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, and I feel like I would fit well in Boston.”
Fultz said he has yet to firm up a day when he will visit the Celtics, and likely work out for management and coaches. He did meet with Boston and a few other teams earlier this month while in Chicago before the draft combine.
“I want to be the No. 1 pick really bad. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, and I feel like I would fit well in Boston.”
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Washington, D.C., native averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game as a freshman at Washington this season while shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc. Multiple sources told ESPN that Fultz is the frontrunner to be selected first overall.
Fultz said he has never been to Boston, but has watched the Celtics closely through the postseason run which ended last week in the Eastern Conference finals.
“I don’t know a ton about the city,” Fultz said. “I know the tradition the franchise has, and that the fans are crazy.”
Fultz has developed a relationship with Celtics star guard Isaiah Thomas, who also attended the University of Washington. He said the pair met on his recruiting visits and have stayed in touch since. Thomas is coming off a career season and has one year left on his contract.
“We can both play on or off the ball,” Fultz said. “We can both score and also pass. I think we’d be great together. When we’ve talked since the lottery, we haven’t really talked about basketball much. He’s been through a lot lately.”
Fultz is aware that he is somewhat of an unknown heading into the draft because he played for a Washington team that won just nine games this past season.
“I’m a versatile point guard who is unselfish, and can score at all three levels,” he said. “I can rebound, block shots, push the ball, basically anything you need from a guard. Off the court, I’m humble.”
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