We will not officially know what the Philadelphia 76ers plan to do with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft until June 23, but as each day passes the picture is painted more and more clear.
Initial reports surfaced right after the NBA Draft Lottery that they were leaning heavily towards drafting LSU’s Ben Simmons, leaving Brandon Ingram there for the taking for the Lakers with the No. 2 pick.
Although Ingram is a great schematic fit with the majority of teams in the league because of his perimeter shooting ability, Simmons is believed by many to be the best prospect in this draft class, possessing superstar potential.
It’s that potential that has 76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo appearing to tip his hand a bit and send signals that he intends to draft Simmons next month. Colangelo was on Bleacher Report’s Sirius XM Radio show and made some comments that hinted at what the team might do when the draft rolls around.
Bryan Colangelo: "First thing we need to do is establish a star in the fold…" #76ers
— Bleacher Report SXM (@br_radio) May 22, 2016
Colangelo also noted the front office’s relationship with Simmons’ family, which erases any concern of theirs that the 19-year-old might reportedly try to force his way to join former high school teammate D’Angelo Russell in Los Angeles.
Adding another front court player that struggles with his jump shot would likely lead to Philly trading at least one of their big men, clearing up the log jam a bit to add some shooting. In the interview, Colangelo mentioned that he has told the team’s players to be prepared for anything.
The Sixers and Lakers will each have their opportunities to meet with both Simmons and Ingram before the draft, but Philadelphia will seemingly make the decision for both teams. The NBA Draft is still a month away, but all signs are pointing to Simmons ending up in Philadelphia, leaving Ingram available for the Lakers.