After weeks of speculation, the Sixers finally made it official. Philadelphia selected Ben Simmons with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, putting the franchise's future in the capable hands of the Australian point-forward.
There was really no other choice to make. Simmons put up video game numbers during his single college season, averaging 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game, building on a resume stocked with three national championships at the high school level. He has produced mightily everywhere he's played, and the Sixers hope he'll do the same in Philadelphia.
The Sixers were the only team to get serious access to Simmons during the pre-draft process. Combined with Brett Brown's Australian ties, they had the most insight of any franchise into Simmons' background and mental makeup. Concerns swirled around Simmons following an inglorious end to his season at LSU, but the Sixers brain trust clearly believes this was a product of the environment and not an indictment of their top selection.
We'll have a lot more on Simmons in the coming hours, days and weeks, but for now it's time to celebrate the coronation of the Sixers next big thing. No pressure young fella, but it's time to get to work.