The Philadelphia 76ers still have over a month to weigh their options in regards to which player they will take with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The Los Angeles Lakers, on the other hand, have a seemingly easy decision, as they will presumably sit back and take whomever is left between Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram after the Sixers make their pick.
While Ingram is an ideal fit at the small forward position in just about any offense and roster, many believe Simmons holds a slight edge as this year’s top prospect. The primary advantage that Ingram holds is his perimeter shooting, as Simmons struggled to score outside of the paint at LSU, reluctant to take jump shots.
With an improved jumper, Simmons could begin to erase perhaps his only truly glaring weakness as a prospect. That could be something that takes years to accomplish, but NBA TV’s Dennis Scott recently posted a workout clip that shows Simmons could be making some progress already (h/t Lake Show Life’s Eric Yee).
Obviously, this is a very short clip that shows Simmons shooting just three jumpers, connecting on two of them.
Mechanically, though, the form does appear to be improved a bit. The main issue with it last season was the fact that he generally released the ball on his way back down. In this clip, he is doing a better job of making his release point at the top of his jump.
All signs are pointing towards the Sixers selecting Simmons with the top pick next month, but should they pass on the LSU big man and draft Ingram, the Lakers would likely be ecstatic to take him at No. 2. There would be some schematic questions in terms of how Simmons and Julius Randle would fit on the court together. Both players struggle to shoot the ball efficiently outside of the paint, but if at least one of them could become respectable in that aspect of the game, perhaps that would alleviate some of the concern.
Either way, the Lakers will still be getting one of the two prized prospects in this draft class. Which one will it be? They will have to wait until June 23 to finally know who will be there for the taking.