Report: Sixers tell Ben Simmons' camp they're taking him first overall


The Sixers didn't just hold a private workout with Ben Simmons on Tuesday in Philly. They also informed his camp that they'll be selecting him with the first overall pick in the NBA draft Thursday, according to's Chris Haynes.

Simmons seemed all along like the logical choice, but Brandon Ingram made a strong impression on teams this past season while at Duke and during the pre-draft process. But even if Ingram's shooting would better serve the Sixers immediately, Simmons' ability to drive, score and facilitate, along with his massive upside, has apparently made him too enticing for them to pass on.

Simmons, the 6-foot-10 forward from Australia, averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his lone season at LSU. He drew criticism for disappearing late in games and for not leading his team to the NCAA Tournament. If/when Simmons goes first overall, he'd be the first college player since Michael Olowokandi to be selected first despite not participating in the NCAA Tournament. But some of that was owed to LSU's weaknesses at other positions. It's difficult to gauge how productive Simmons could have been had he gone to a more competitive basketball school.

It's also worth noting that a lot of the same criticisms about Simmons' laid-back personality and lack of killer instinct in college were also made with Andrew Wiggins when he came out of Kansas. The Timberwolves aren't regretting that pick.

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