Thanks to Ben Simmons' status as the draft's highest-rated prospect, speculation has engulfed the Sixers. Their already crowded frontcourt would be bursting at the seams if it added the Aussie point-forward, so everyone is looking for indications as to what their next move would be. In this week's Morning Tip column from David Aldridge, the veteran NBA.com reporter relayed some nuggets on the team's thinking heading into June's draft. First, on the players in consideration at No. 1: The 76ers didn't get three of the top 11 picks, as they could have, but they got the top pick. They will not trade it. Simmons and [Brandon] Ingram, the Sixers believe, are "blue-chip people," one source said, who are both well-known already inside the organization -- Brett Brown coached many years in Australia and knows Simmons' family, and the Colangelo family's ties to Duke through Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski provide them with all the inside dope they'll ever need on Ingram. And, more to the point -- either player could help immediately, depending on how Philly addresses the redundancy on its current roster. Nothing out of the ordinary there. The details about fit, on the other hand, are a bit more interesting (bold emphasis mine): Simmons is a four, the Sixers believe, but they see him at that position the way the San Antonio Spurs utilize Kawhi Leonard at the three -- a forward who initiates the offense, and through whom the team can run its offense. They also remind you that when Leonard was first drafted, very few believed he'd ever be a good perimeter shooter. The same kind of improvement is possible for Simmons, who shot just 33 percent on 3-pointers in his lone season at LSU.
Report: Sixers Covet Another High Pick, Strongly Support Nerlens Noel
Liberty Ballers | May 24