The Philadelphia 76ers own the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. And at this point nobody should expect the franchise to do anything other than take a player with that pick. Team general manager Bryan Colangelo admitted he’s looked into alternatives, as all smart executives do, but he doesn’t appear to have any intention of trading that pick.
“A lot of people jumped on the notion that we talked about looking at all alternatives as open to moving the pick. I think, again, you have to look at every single option and everything in front of you,” Colangelo said, via Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “But the bottom line is, now that we’re sitting in the No. 1 position, it changes the dynamic. It’s highly unlikely that anything is done with the No. 1 pick except selecting the player.”
Colangelo also seems to have narrowed down his options to two players, LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram. He described the main attraction for both young players.
“[Simmons] is a ball-handling four, who actually would be in a position to initiate the offense. Very versatile. Plays multiple positions. As you look at a Brandon Ingram, more of a shooter, a silky smooth small-forward type. I think you have to look at his versatility. But the one thing that stands out is his ability to shoot the basketball, above all else. There is obviously two very interesting candidates there.”
At this point, all signs seem to point to Philadelphia selecting Simmons over Ingram at No. 1. There have been rumors that Simmons’ camp would prefer the young Aussie star to land in Los Angeles with the Lakers (bigger shoe deal), but Colangelo doesn’t believe them. He’s had a relationship with Simmons’ father for years and does not think there would be any issues if Simmons did land in Philly.
Being that he does have the top pick, there is really no need for Colangelo to play coy these days about what he wants or might do. With three first-round picks, he’s got the flexibility to perhaps move up again to land a backcourt player to pair with Simmons, or to target Ingram at the top and look for more help inside later on.
But at this point, nobody should expect the 76ers to attempt to move down. They can land the player that makes the most sense for the future of the franchise and bolster the rest of the roster as well.