When the Philadelphia 76ers were awarded with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, themes arose regarding both Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram's possible status with the Sixers. With Simmons, it was a matter of sorting out through the clutter of a crowded frontcourt and how he'd fit on a roster devoid of perimeter weapons. For Ingram, he'd be a dynamic and welcomed fit at the 3 but doesn't possess the upside of the Australian forward.
According to PhillyMag's Derek Bodner, the Sixers reportedly hold the Australian point-foward in a higher regard.
Every indication I get is #sixers have strong preference for Ben Simmons. Still 4 weeks away, but would set him as heavy favorite.— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) May 28, 2016
Simmons has been lauded as the top overall talent in the 2016 draft class, with two-way upside unmatched by his peers. With the Sixers landing at pick No. 1 and the Lakers failing to be in an ideal position to select the Australian marvel, there was hesitation that Simmons might spurn Philadelphia in favor of Los Angeles-where he'd profit more in a potential shoe deal.
However, Simmons' camp reportedly didn't have any issue with their employee being taken with the first overall pick and playing his rookie year in the 215. The Sixers now have the coveted ability to develop a rapport with Simmons, who Brett Brown knew previously during his stint as the Australia Olympic team's head coach.
Simmons would be a dynamic talent to add to a team with their frontcourt currently in flux. Both Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel are reportedly on the trading block and Joel Embiid will likely make his debut this season. Simmons is rare talent, who has been said to flash traits of both LeBron James and Magic Johnson.
It appears that his versatility and upside are trumping Brandon Ingram's fit within the organization. Averaging a gaudy stat line of 19.2 PPG, 11.9 RPG and 4.8 APG during his lone season at LSU, Simmons has a bulletproof case as the first overall pick in this year's draft.
The stats don't fully articulate Simmons' ability to impact a game on both ends of the floor, and only attempting three three-point looks last season is a reason to criticize his offensive upside, but Simmons has the potential to be an impact talent immediately. It appears that the Sixers are progressively becoming more enamored with the LSU product.