Who will Sixers pick in draft?
Maya Hughes | 6/20/2016, 10 a.m.
The 2016 NBA Draft is finally here, and it’s one of the biggest nights in Philadelphia Sixers franchise history. It will mark the first time the Sixers won the lottery since 1996 and the third time overall. In 1996, the Sixers selected Hall of Famer Allen Iverson. They traded the first overall pick in 1986.
The Sixers had the league’s worst record with 10-72. The picks that the Sixers make on draft night could make or break the success that was said to be coming after the last three seasons of losing for the team. Will the Sixers select LSU’s Ben Simmons or Duke’s Brandon Ingram as the number one pick? Here is a brief look at the top two players in this year’s NBA draft.
Ben Simmons, LSU
Simmons, who will turn 20 in July, already had a NBA-ready build: 6-10, 240 pounds. He has tremendous counting stats in his only season at LSU, averaging 19.2 points, 11.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.0 steals. He’s the first college player to average better than 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists since Ron Harper in the mid-80s. Simmons is already a good rebounder, excellent passer and ball-handler. He’s also good defensively and with time he should be able to guard multiple positions in the NBA. The biggest question surrounding Simmons is his shooting.
If the Sixers go with Simmons, the Sixers roster will have to be shaken up. Spacing would be tricky with Simmons and some combination of Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, or Joel Embiid on the floor. If Simmons is the number one pick, the Sixers will more than likely let go of one of their bigs.
Brandon Ingram, Duke
Ingram won’t turn 19 until September. He’s different than Simmons in both build and game. Ingram, who is 6-9, 196 pounds, has a 7-3 wingspan. Ingram’s appeal is rooted in his skill set and how he would fit the Sixers current need. He averaged 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists
And 1.0 steal in 24.6 minutes with Duke as a freshman. Ingram is also lean and definitely need to put on weight and muscle.
The Sixers roster is going to evolve, but taking Ingram would probably require less immediate change. If Ingram is the number one pick, the Sixers could plug him in at small forward and play him with any combination of the Sixers bigs. From a team-building standpoint, Ingram is probably a better fit now.
In addition to having the number one pick in this year’s NBA draft, the Sixers also own the Heat No. 24 pick and the Thunder’s No. 26 pick. The 2016 NBA Draft will be held on Thursday, June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The draft will be televised nationally by ESPN. Coverage will begin 8 p.m. (Eastern).