As we inch closer to the NBA Draft, it is looking more and more likely that LSU’s Ben Simmons will be the player selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the first overall pick. Simmons has long been considered the front-runner to be the first player off the draft board, but Philadelphia has worked out other prospects, such as Duke’s Brandon Ingram.
Through much of the pre-draft process, it appeared that Simmons would not work out for any teams under the advice of his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. However, that strategy was changed with the draft just two days away.
According to Keith Pompey of philly.com, Simmons worked out for the 76ers this morning:
Ben Simmons was in Philadelphia Tuesday morning to work out for the 76ers. The former Louisiana State power forward worked out for the Sixers at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, according to sources close to the player. The Sixers probably will take the 6-foot-10, 260-pounder first in Thursday’s NBA draft.
After the workout session 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo said that the workout was a sign that Simmons and his management team want him to be selected with the first overall pick, further burying rumors that Simmons was hoping to force his way to Los Angeles. Apparently, the workout was all that the 76ers needed to see.
According to Chris Haynes of cleveland.com, Philadelphia has promised to take Simmons with the first overall pick:
This morning Philadelphia 76ers informed camp of Ben Simmons he would be taken No. 1 in NBA Draft, league sources tell @clevelanddotcom.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 21, 2016
Still, nothing will be certain until Philadelphia is on the clock on Thursday night, but at this point, it appears that it would take a major change of heart for Philadelphia to select anyone other than Simmons. This would result in Brandon Ingram likely heading to the Lakers, which may be exactly what Los Angeles is hoping for.