Ever since the draft lottery revealed that the Philadelphia 76ers would have the first overall pick in the NBA Draft and the Los Angeles Lakers second, a debate has raged over just who would end up going where.
With nearly every draft expert agreeing that the top two prospects are LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram, the Lakers are thought to have the easiest pick in the entire draft, as all they have to do is select the player that the Sixers pass on.
Now, an intriguing new possibility has arisen: what if Philidelphia doesn’t take either of them? In a recent piece by Keith Pompey for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sixers Vice President of Player Personnel Marc Eversley shared that there is another player they could be considering for the top pick:
“Jamal Murray, we certainly got a chance to see him a couple of weeks ago. He’s certainly going to be one of those kids who’s going to be in contention for the No. 1 pick. We like him a lot. He’s going to bring a lot to wherever he goes in the NBA, certainly a talent.”
If Philadelphia does indeed go that direction, then the Lakers would reportedly lean towards selecting Simmons with the second pick. Of course, the big winner in such a scenario would be the Boston Celtics, who would be thrilled to see a talent like Brandon Ingram fall to them with the third pick.
Before anyone gets too excited, it has to be noted that the pre-draft period is filled with more misinformation than any other time during the NBA season. Teams purposefully put out false intel regarding which players they like in order to prevent any other team from gaining trade leverage over them. The notion that the Sixers could select Murray, who is indeed a talented guard, is probably just a smokescreen.
All we know for sure is that Philadelphia is staying tight-lipped about their intentions, so we won’t know for certain who will be available for the Lakers to select until after the Sixers pick is announced on June 23rd.