Sixers Select Ben Simmons With First Overall Pick

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The Philadelphia 76ers made official what has long been expected: Ben Simmons is the first overall selection in the 2016 NBA draft.

Simmons has long been rumored to be the guy the Sixers were targeting after the team won May 17th’s NBA lottery. Simmons averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.0 steals per game during his only season at LSU.

“I’m happy to be part of the family now. It’s a weight off my chest,” said Simmons after a selection that had become a foregone conclusion. “I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while, so I’m glad I’ve made history, not only for myself but my family and Australian basketball.”

Simmons grew up in Newcastle, Australia, before coming to the United States in 2013 to attend Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida, the same school Joel Embiid attended. Simmons has another connection to the Sixers in head coach Brett Brown, who coached Simmons’ father, Dave, while in Australia.

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Report: Sixers Intensify Efforts to Acquire 3rd Pick, Nerlens Noel Could Be Moved

The Sixers are reportedly intensifying their efforts to acquire the 3rd overall pick from the Boston Celtics, and could select Providence point guard Kris Dunn if they are successful | Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers are reportedly intensifying their efforts to acquire the 3rd overall pick from the Boston Celtics, and could select Providence point guard Kris Dunn if they are successful | Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from Marc Stein of ESPN, the Philadelphia 76ers are the most active team involved in trade discussions, while adding that the Sixers are ramping up their efforts to acquire the third overall pick from Boston.

According to Stein, a trade involving Nerlens Noel is becoming more and more likely. Stein also adds that if the Sixers do acquire the 3rd overall pick, they would be selecting between Buddy Hield, Kris Dunn, or Jamal Murray.

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2016 NBA Draft Big Board: What Should the Sixers do with the #1 Pick?

LSU's Ben Simmons.

LSU’s Ben Simmons.

This is it. This is the moment Sixers fans have been waiting three years for, the day they get to unwrap their new franchise player.

As we head into the draft, the drama at the top is gone. Ben Simmons is almost guaranteed to be a Philadelphia 76er later tonight.

Yet there’s still a considerable amount of interest for Sixers fans beyond that point, not only because the Sixers have the 24th and 26th picks (for now) in the draft as well, but because Bryan Colangelo is actively looking to acquire another top-8 pick. Who could, and should, he be targeting with a second high draft pick? My rankings on that are below.

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76ers Draft: Is Kris Dunn a Fit with Ben Simmons?

Is Kris Dunn a fit with Ben Simmons and the Sixers? | Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Is Kris Dunn a fit with Ben Simmons and the Sixers? | Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We continue our draft series, looking at a couple of players the Sixers could target in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

One player who has come up in conversations of late is Providence point guard Kris Dunn, with reports out of CSN New England that the Sixers are enamored with Dunn. Is he somebody that they should pursue?

Age: 22

Measurements: 6-foot-4.25-inches (in shoes), 205 pounds, 6-foot-9.5-inch wingspan.

Stats: 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 2.5 steals, 3.5 turnovers per game, shot 44.8 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from three-point range.

Advanced stats: 11.3 Boxscore plus/minus, (5.6 offensive, 5.7 defensive), 4.5 win shares (2.2 offensive, 2.3 defensive), 0.166 win shares/40 minutes, 46.2 percent free throw rate, 54.1 percent true shooting.

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Joel Embiid Cleared to Begin Scrimmaging

Joel Embiid practices before the Sixers played the Los Angeles Clippers on February 8th, 2016 | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers center Joel Embiid has reportedly been cleared to start participating in “light” 5-on-5 scrimmages | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports’ “The Vertical”, Sixers center Joel Embiid has been cleared to start participating in “light” scrimmaging in 5-on-5 settings.

Embiid, 22, was selected by the Sixers third overall in the 2014 NBA draft just days after undergoing surgery to repair a fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot.

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Ben Simmons Works Out for 76ers, Reportedly Told He Will Be Selected No. 1

The Sixers would likely decide between Ben Simmons (pictured) or Brandon Ingram if they win May 17th's lottery | Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons worked out for the Philadelphia 76ers today, and has reportedly been told he will be selected with the first pick. | Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

After much debate, it turns out Ben Simmons has, in fact, worked out for the Philadelphia 76ers.

“This morning we did have an opportunity, very early, to have Ben Simmons come in and work out,” Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo told reporters today at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. “[The workout] was important for us, and we were excited to be able to get the opportunity. I think it also speaks to the fact that Ben [Simmons] and his representatives wanted to make sure that we were aware they wanted to be the #1 pick and would like to be considered here in Philadelphia.”

According to Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com, the Sixers have informed Simmons’ camp that he will be selected #1 in Thursday’s NBA draft.

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76ers Draft: Is Jamal Murray the Draft’s Best Shooter?

Kentucky's Jamal Murray could be an option if the Sixers acquire another top-5 draft pick in Thursday's NBA draft | Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky’s Jamal Murray could be an option if the Sixers acquire another top-5 draft pick in Thursday’s NBA draft | Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

With the 76ers draft just a few days away, we’ll take a look at a couple of prospects the Sixers could end up walking away with on Thursday night.

In Jamal Murray‘s case, the interest would likely stem from a trade, as he’s unlikely to be, and shouldn’t be, in consideration for the #1 pick.

Age: 19

Measurements: 6-foot-4.25-inches (in shoes), 207 pounds, 6-foot-6.5-inch wingspan.

Stats: 20.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists per game, shot 45.5 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from three-point range.

Advanced stats: 9.1 Boxscore plus/minus, (8.1 offensive, 1.1 defensive), 6.1 win shares (4.4 offensive, 1.7 defensive), 0.194 win shares/40 minutes, 28.3 percent free throw rate, 59.0 percent true shooting.

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Report: Sixers Have Meeting with Ben Simmons

Adding Ben Simmons would bring some level of certainty to the Sixers rebuild | Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from Marc Stein of ESPN, the Sixers had a meeting with Ben Simmons, the presumptive #1 overall pick in next Thursday’s NBA draft.  | Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Sixers had a dinner with Ben Simmons last night prior to game 6 of the NBA finals.

This was the first time the Sixers have had the chance to meet with Ben Simmons in person. In fact, according to Stein the Sixers are the only team who has been granted access to Simmons to this point.

The meeting, according to Stein, included numerous members of the Sixers’ front office, including Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo and head coach Brett Brown, as well as Rich Paul, Simmons’ agent. Read more »

76ers Musings: Stop Overreacting To Ben Simmons Not Working Out

Is Ben Simmons not working out for the Sixers a big deal? | Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Is Ben Simmons not working out for the Sixers a big deal? | Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This week we continue our 76ers musings column, where we focus on a couple of (relatively) quick-hitting thoughts on topics being discussed about the Philadelphia 76ers.

You can read previous entries in the “Sixers Musings” series here.

Whether Ben Simmons works out for Sixers isn’t a big deal

Would it be good if the 76ers were able to get LSU forward Ben Simmons in for a workout? Of course. More information is better than less information, and having a one-on-one interview with a kid who is about to become the face of your franchise certainly provides value. Everybody would prefer to have Simmons in for a workout than not.

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Ben Simmons: Being Selected With #1 Pick A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

Ben Simmons | Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons may be the Sixers’ choice with the No. 1 overall pick | Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

There has been much speculation about whether Ben Simmons wants to be drafted first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.

That speculation, which initially originated from a report that Simmons could earn more out of a shoe deal if he were drafted by Los Angeles, has been gaining momentum of late because the Sixers have yet to meet with the former LSU star. The Sixers have already met with Brandon Ingram, the other presumptive top-2 pick in June 23rd’s draft, twice. Once at the NBA Combine at Chicago in May and then earlier today at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where the Sixers had Ingram in for a private one-on-none workout.

Earlier today, Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo confirmed that no meeting was currently scheduled between Simmons and the Sixers.

“As of this moment, not yet,” Colangelo said about a potential meeting. “We’re still working on that.”

Colangelo, however, did sound optimistic that Simmons had no problem playing for Philadelphia if they did decide to select him first overall.

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