The Philadelphia 76ers finished the regular season with a discouraging 10-72 win-loss record in the Eastern Conference but come June 23 they aim to reverse all of those after winning the number one pick during Tuesday’s NBA Lottery. As early as now rumors are swelling that the 76ers are looking at the possibility of taking either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram.
However, as the 76ers get down to business and get courting offers from other teams in return for the top pick, they will first cherish the moment of getting the first right to draft among this year’s talented rookies. 76ers head coach Brett Brown stated that getting the number one pick injects a new energy for the team heading into next season as they aim to get the needed pieces that would make them a formidable squad.
“It’s good for the city of Philadelphia. The fans deserve this … In many ways I feel we have been rewarded for the city’s perseverance … It gives us the injection that we need. We believe the pieces around us give us, even more, hope. I feel this does validate the pain [the Sixers have endured with all the losing the past few seasons],” Brown said.
Now the 76ers will have to dig deep as to who they will be picking during draft day that will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The majority of the analyst are looking at LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram.
For some Ingram is the best choice as he is as versatile with Simmons, but the 18-year old Duke Devil has skills that could make him a threat on both ends of the floor. He can guard the perimeter, make space for teammates to work with and in times of defensive collapse one can find him just lurking beneath the rim for an easy basket.
Ingram was not as hyped as with Simmons, but his size, length and athleticism teams cannot help but notice him as he is a good fit in the forward position. His physical measurements could easily give him the needed space for him to operate inside the paint. His numbers are also deadly by the minute given the fact that if he plays 34 minutes inside the court he averages 17.3 points with 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a game because if he plays 40 minutes a game he averages 20 points with 7.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, a luxury that every team could have a player either coming off the bench or starting for the night.
On the other hand, Ben Simmons was touted to be this year’s top pick but the Australian needs more convincing to make to himself marketable for the top choice come June 23. Standing six-foot-10 and weighing 240 lbs. Simmons bulk and length could also damage the paint on both ends of the floor as well.
Simmons has made waves during the pre-season of the NCAA and during the start of the tournament, Simmons showed his prowess as he helped the LSU Tigers break a three-game losing streak back on Dec.2 wherein he tallied a career-high 43 points and 14 rebounds as the Tiger beat North Florida, 119-108. His 43 points were the most for a Tigers player since Shaquille O’Neal had 43 against Northern Arizona in December 1991. After recording 14 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Kentucky, Simmons was dubbed the best all-around player since LeBron James by NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.
The 76ers will have to contemplate as the Los Angeles Lakers are picking second while the Boston Celtics are in third. Completing the first 10 teams which will pick in the first round are Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors (via Knicks) and Milwaukee Bucks.
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