Aussie Tipped For No.1 NBA Draft Pick

Publish Date
Thursday, 19 May 2016, 8:30AM
Getty Images

Getty Images

Australian teenager Ben Simmons appears headed to the Philadelphia 76ers - where he would team-up with one of the NBA's brightest young cores and former Boomers coach Brett Brown.

The 76ers won the NBA Draft Lottery in New York on Tuesday, giving them first pick in the June 23 Draft. The Los Angeles Lakers have the second selection and Boston the third.
Simmons, a 208cm tall ambidextrous 19-year-old who played point guard, forward and centre at Louisiana State University, is the favourite to go No.1.

"We're excited with the position we are now in," said the US-born Brown, who coached multiple NBL teams as well as the Boomers at the 2012 Olympics.

Should the 76ers do choose Simmons, Brown's strong roots to Australia could open the way for the Melbourne-born teen to join the Australian Olympic team this year, despite Simmons having already indicated he was unavailable to go to Rio.

The 76ers have given little away about who they will choose with their top pick.
Simmons' biggest threat is Duke University forward Brandon Ingram, with some draft analysts suggesting Ingram could be a better fit for the 76ers.

While the lottery gives all teams who failed to make the playoffs a shot at landing a top three pick, it is heavily favoured towards the poorest performing teams of the past regular season.

As it panned out, the draft order followed the exact order in which teams finished the 2015-16 season.

If Simmons does go to the 76ers he will be joining one of the worst teams in NBA history, but one stacked with young talented players including Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel.

The 76ers were easily the last-placed team with just 10 wins and 72 losses.

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