The Philadelphia 76ers have a great “problem” on their hands. They have to decide if they want to take either LSU’s Ben Simmons or Duke’s Brandon Ingram with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
While both prospects offer vastly different skill sets, the consensus is that it is nearly impossible to go wrong with either player. The Lakers, meanwhile, will sit back with the No. 2 pick and gladly take the player that Philly passes on, though the early indications seem to be that Ingram may find his way to Los Angeles.
That news, of course, came just days after a report from Simmons’ camp that stated the 19-year-old’s desire to remain in purple and gold next season, due to the fact he could potentially earn more money from his shoe deal in Los Angeles. That was before the NBA Draft Lottery, and with the Lakers staying put in the draft order in Tuesday’s lottery, many people believed that rumor could become a reality with the team being right in the mix for his draft rights.
As it turns out, that may not matter. The Sixers are reportedly leaning heavily towards taking Simmons, and he appears to be just fine with that, according to Fox Sports Australia’s Olgun Uluc (h/t Silver Screen and Roll’s Harrison Faigen).
Was told by a source close to Ben Simmons' camp, before the lottery, that they have no issue with the market in Philadelphia
— Olgun Uluc (@OlgunUluc) May 18, 2016
76ers head coach Brett Brown coached Simmons’ father in Australia several years ago, so there is obviously a connection there. Additionally, Philadelphia has been seeking a superstar caliber prospect at the top of the draft for years now, and Simmons certainly has that potential down the line.
While a lack of efficiency with his jump shot poses some schematic issues with Philadelphia, Simmons could bring them a tremendous amount of playmaking, something they also desperately need.
All the early indications seem to point to Simmons being the top selection on June 23, which would open the door for the Lakers to fill a glaring hole at small forward with Ingram. The draft is still over a month away, however, so a lot can change between now and then. Either way, the Lakers can sit back and let the 76ers make their decision easy with the second pick.