It is a move that hasn’t exactly surprised anyone. The Philadelphia 76ers were expected to get LSU’s Ben Simmons at NBA Draft 2016 for the number one draft pick. Several have already speculated before that the Sixers would choose Simmons before the official NBA Draft.
According to ESPN the Philadelphia 76ers has chosen Simmons. He is the second Australian to be taken after Andrew Bogut back in 2005. Simmons is also in good company as he is the second from LSU to be a top NBA draft pick. The other one was Shaquille O’Neal back in 1995.
Before the official NBA Draft 2016, several tagged Simmons as the Sixers’ top draft pick. CBS Sports’s mock draft for instance has the team choosing Simmons over Brandon Ingram from Duke. Ingram is the Los Angeles Lakers’ draft pick for 2016.
In some ways Simmons being chosen by the Sixers at NBA Draft 2016 had already been locked in. Last Tuesday he was already seen working out with the Sixers. Before that he met with the team’s representatives in Cleveland.
Philadelphia hopes to rebuild for the upcoming season, Yahoo Sports reports. They have finally been given the number one draft pick after a rough time and especially after general manager Sam Hinkie resigned. As for Simmons, he has said that being chosen has taken much pressure off him.
“Now I can relax, but now I know where I’m going to be,” he has said following his draft into the Sixers. Though he can relax for now, there is much that needs to be done in the coming weeks leading up to the next season. As it is, he has had quite an impressive career in college. In his one year with Baton Rouge he has managed 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists.
How much he would give to the team remains to be seen though. There might be too much pressure for him to face in the coming days. For one, the people will expect him to live up to what Allen Iverson did. Iverson was the Sixers’ last number one pick back in 1996 before Simmons.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/Tony the Tiger