With the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Ben Simmons from LSU. Simmons, a 6’10 point forward, is a very versatile player who has been on the NBA radar for several years since he was a top prospect dating back to high school.
This pick is no surprise, as the 76ers reportedly told Simmons he would be the top selection after a private workout with the team earlier this week. There was some debate over whether Philadelphia should select Simmons or Duke swingman Brandon Ingram, but the team ultimately decided on Simmons and it’s tough to disagree with their decision.
Simmons could become a nightly triple-double threat if he’s able to maximize his full potential. As a freshman at LSU, he averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and two steals.
His biggest strengths are his passing (he’s very good at facilitating and making his teammates better, which should help the 76ers’ big men) and his rebounding. He’s also very good at attacking the rim. He’s a very versatile player who can do a little bit of everything and is very good at handling and distributing the ball, especially for his size, so he drawn some comparisons to Lamar Odom.
The big knock on Simmons for quite some time has been his lack of a jump shot, which has led to some concerns that he’ll struggle in today’s NBA that values shooting so much. Simmons attempted just three shots from three-point range while at LSU, and while he has been working on his jumper during pre-draft training, he has a ways to go before that becomes part of his offensive arsenal. Fortunately, he’s very good at getting to the basket and he shot 56 percent from the field while in college.
This may be the first of several moves for Philadelphia tonight. They have reportedly been in talks with a number of teams about acquiring an additional top-eight draft pick, with some reports even linking them to the Boston Celtics’ No. 3 pick. It seems the team is offering either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor in trade talks, and the team is expected to add a guard if they can acquire another lottery pick.
Even if the Sixers stand pat, they’ll be busy later in the first round because they also have the No. 24 and No. 26 picks. These picks could also be used in trade talks as they try to trade up.
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