NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (L) shakes hands with Markelle Fultz picked number one by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA, 22 June 2017. Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA
NEW YORK -- For the last four years, the mantra of the Philadelphia 76ers has been "trust the process."
As the anticipation intensified and commissioner Adam Silver said the 76ers "were on the clock," fans at Barclays Center began chanting to express their excitement to another young piece being added to Philadelphia.
With about 90 seconds left in the Sixers' allotted five minutes, Markelle Fultz officially became the first overall pick in Thursday's draft.
The former Washington point guard averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 25 games. In his only collegiate season, Fultz shot 47.6 percent from the field, made 41.3 percent of his 3-point attempts, reached double figures 24 times and set a school record for points by a freshman with 579.
"I'm very excited really, just like the fans in Philly, how they back up their players and everything like that," Fultz said. "And I'm just looking forward to going in there and giving it my all and hopefully changing the program around."
The performance at Washington capped a meteoric rise on the amateur level for Fultz. Cut from the varsity team as a sophomore at DeMatha Catholic High School in 2013 because he was only 5 feet 9, Fultz dominated opponents on the junior varsity level and then continued his stellar performances in his final two years at high school.
"I figured out I had a chance to make it there [the NBA] probably [in] my 11th grade," he said. "I just realized that I was doing stuff that other kids weren't doing and it just started to work out for me."
When Fultz was cut from the high school team, the Celtics had recently acquired the pick from the Brooklyn Nets in July 2013. The Celtics were looking to rebuild after six seasons with Kevin Garnett paired with Paul Pierce and the Nets were looking to win instantly in their second season in Brooklyn.
Neither side anticipated the deal would become so lopsided in favor of the Celtics, but the Nets posted the league's worst record last season, setting in motion the chain of events leading Fultz to become a 76er.
Fultz was all set to become a Celtic, but on Monday the pick was officially dealt to Philadelphia. The deal was first reported on Saturday and when it was apparent the trade was going to occur, Fultz quickly worked out for the 76ers after a short drive from Maryland.
"That morning I woke up, I didn't know where I was going," Fultz said. "I didn't know [who] I was working out for."
Last season, the 76ers held the top pick for the first time since drafting Hall of Famer Allen Iverson in 1996 and selected Ben Simmons. Simmons injured a foot in training camp and never played while the Sixers improved their win total by 18 games to 28.
Now they are hoping for more with the trio of Fultz, Simmons and entertaining center Joel Embiid.
After Fultz was picked, fellow freshman Lonzo Ball was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the second pick. The Lakers used their third straight No. 2 pick on Ball, who averaged 14.6 points and led the nation with 7.6 assists per game in his only season at UCLA.
Ball was projected to be picked by the Lakers' new front office of Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. It became even more apparent the Lakers were going to select him once D'Angelo Russell was traded to Brooklyn for Brook Lopez.
The Celtics used the third pick on Duke's Jayson Tatum but also were reportedly in talks with Indiana for Paul George.
The Suns picked fourth for the second straight year and selected Josh Jackson from Kansas. In his only season in college, Jackson averaged 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Sacramento was the only team with two lottery picks.
The Kings' first pick at No. 5 was guard De'Aaron Fox of Kentucky and they selected Zach Collins of Gonzaga at No. 10 with the pick obtained from New Orleans for DeMarcus Cousins. They later traded the rights to Collins to the Trail Blazers for North Carolina's Justin Jackson (selected with the No. 15 pick) and the 20th pick.
Orlando selected Florida State forward Jonathan Issac at No. 6 and Minnesota picked Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen, who is heading to Chicago as part of the deal that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves.
At No. 8, the Knicks picked French point guard Frank Ntilikina, who heard a mix of cheers and boos from fans. Before Sacramento used its second top-10 selection, Dallas made North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith the ninth pick.
The first surprise might have been Malik Monk falling out of the top 10. Monk, who averaged 19.8 points in his only season at Kentucky, went at No. 11 to the Charlotte Hornets.
Luke Kennard was the second Duke player selected when the Detroit Pistons took him at No. 12 to improve a team that posted the third-worst 3-point percentage last season. Kennard averaged 19.5 points and shot 43.8 percent from long range.
Denver picked Louisville's Donovan Mitchell at No. 13 and sent the guard to the Utah Jazz for Trey Lyles and the No. 24 pick.
Bam Adebayo became the third Kentucky player picked when the forward went to the Miami Heat at No. 14.
Portland picked Jackson at No. 15. The Trail Blazers traded him and the 20th pick to the Sacramento Kings for the rights to Collins.
The Bulls picked Creighton's Justin Patton at No. 16 and sent him to Minnesota in the Butler trade.
Milwaukee picked Michigan's D.J. Wilson at No. 17, Indiana selected UCLA forward T.J. Leaf with the 18th pick, Atlanta used the 19th pick on Wake Forest forward John Collins and Portland chose Duke's Harry Giles at No. 20, who was then traded to Sacramento.
At No. 21, Oklahoma City selected Terrance Ferguson, who played in Australia after initialing committing to Arizona out of high school. Brooklyn picked Jarrett Allen out of Texas at No. 22, Toronto picked Indiana forward OG Anunoby with the 23rd pick and Utah picked Syracuse's Tyler Lydon at No. 24 though he was traded to Denver.
Latvian center Anzejs Pasecniks was picked by Orlando at 25 and he was then traded to Philadelphia. Portland picked Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan at No. 26. Utah forward Kyle Kuzma went to Brooklyn at No. 27, and he was included in the D'Angelo Russell-Brook Lopez deal with the Lakers.
North Carolina forward Tony Bradley went No. 28 to the Lakers, though he was reportedly traded to the Utah Jazz for the 30th pick and a second-round pick. The San Antonio Spurs picked Colorado point guard Derrick White at No. 29 and Utah ended the first round by taking Villanova guard Josh Hart though he was reportedly sent to the Lakers.
Below are the picks from the second round. Announced trades denoted with a letter.
31. A -- Charlotte (from Atlanta via from Brooklyn) -- G -- Frank Jackson, Duke
32. Phoenix -- G Davon Reed, Miami (Fla.)
33. Orlando (from Los Angeles Lakers) -- G -- Wesley Iwandu, Kansas State
34. Sacramento (from Philadelphia via New Orleans) -- G Frank Mason, Kansas
35. B -- Orlando -- F Ivan Rabb, California
36. Philadelphia (from New York via Utah and Toronto) -- F Jonah Bolden (Australia)
37. Boston (from Minnesota via Phoenix) -- F Semi Ojeleye, SMU
38. C -- Chicago (from Sacramento via Cleveland) -- F Jordan Bell, Oregon
39. Philadelphia (from Dallas) -- G Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State
40. New Orleans -- G Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
41. Atlanta -- G Tyler Dorsey, Oregon
42. D -- Utah (from Detroit) -- C Thomas Bryant, Indiana
43. Houston (from Denver) -- F Isaiah Hartenstein (Lithuania)
44. New York (from Chicago) -- G Damyean Dotson, Houston
45. E -- Houston (from Portland) -- F Dillon Brooks, Oregon
46. Philadelphia (from Miami via Atlanta) -- G Sterling Brown, SMU
47. Indiana -- C Ike Anigbogu, UCLA
48. Milwaukee -- G Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina
49. Denver (from Memphis via Oklahoma City) -- F Vlatko Cancar (Slovenia)
50. Philadelphia (from Atlanta) -- F Mathias Lessort, (France)
51. Denver (from Oklahoma City) -- G Monte Morris (Iowa State)
52. F --New Orleans -- G Edmond Sumner, Xavier
53. Boston (from Cleveland) -- G Kadeem Allen, Arizona
54. Phoenix (from Toronto) -- F Alec Peters, Valparaiso
55. Utah -- G Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga
56. Boston (from LA Clippers) -- G Jabari Bird, California
57. Brooklyn (from Boston) -- F Alexandar Vezenkov (FC Barcelona)
58. New York (from Houston) -- G Ogunjen Jaramaz (Mega Bemax, Serbia)
59. San Antonio -- F Jarron Blossingame, Clemson
60. Atlanta (from Golden State via Philadelphia and Utah) -- F Alpha Kaba (France)
A -- Traded to Pelicans for Dwayne Bacon and financial considerations
B -- Traded to Memphis for a future second-round pick
C -- Traded to Golden State for financial considerations
D -- Traded to the Lakers along with Josh Hart for the rights to Tony Bradley (No. 28)
E -- Traded to Memphis for a future second-round pick
F -- Traded to Indiana for financial considerations