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Game Preview: 76ers vs. Celtics

by Matt Payne

The 2017 Utah Jazz Summer League tips off at 5 p.m. tonight with a matchup featuring the professional debuts Philadelphia’s Markelle Fultz (the No. 1 overall draft pick) and Boston’s Jayson Tatum (the No. 3 overall draft pick).

Fultz, a 6-foot-4 point guard out of the University of Washington, averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists during his only college season. The Sixers traded the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft plus a future protected draft pick (either the Lakers’ 2018 pick or the Kings’ 2019 pick) to move up and select the consensus top player on the board.

The Celtics used the No. 3 pick on Tatum, a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 16.8 points per game as a freshman at Duke University. Tatum was regarded as one of the most pro-ready players in the draft.

Outside of their top picks, the Sixers and Celtics each have deep summer league rosters with several intriguing players.

For Philadelphia, 2016 first-round pick Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will have a chance to shine. The 22-year-old shooting guard from France averaged 12.6 points in 19 starts for the Sixers last season, and he scored a career-high 24 points against the Indiana Pacers on April 10. Another second-year player, Alex Poythress, averaged 10.7 points in six games for the Sixers last season. 

Jonah Bolden, a 6-foot-10 forward from Australia, spent a year at UCLA before playing professionally in Serbia last season. The Sixers took Bolden with the No. 36 overall pick in this year’s draft. Melo Trimble (Maryland) and Isaiah Briscoe (Kentucky) are notable undrafted free agents who signed with Philadelphia.   

For the Celtics, much of the attention will be on 6-foot-11 center Ante Zizic, the No. 23 overall pick in the 2016 draft. Zizic played for EuroLeague team Darussafaka (Turkey) last season and averaged 9.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game. 

Jaylen Brown, who played in 78 games for the Celtics last season, will also be one of the marquee players this week. Brown, who was taken with the No. 3 pick in the 2016 draft, averaged 10.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 20 starts during his rookie year.  

Second-year point guard Demetrius Jackson, along with rookies Semi Olejeye (the No. 37 overall pick), Kadeem Allen (No. 53) and Jabari Bird (No. 56), will also take the floor for the Celtics. 

Summer league tickets are available and affordable, with prices starting at $8 for a one-day pass and $15 for a three-day pass. To reserve your seats, visit or go to the University of Utah box office at the Hunstman Center.

The Celtics-Sixers game will be broadcast nationally on NBATV and streamed live on