While other prospects for Thursday night's NBA Draft have traveled the nation seeking out workouts with NBA teams, LSU superstar forward Ben Simmons was forced to showcase his talent for just one franchise before securing a promise that he would shortly receive the chance to call that city home.
Sixers Impressed With Simmons
Following Simmons' draft workout with the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo reportedly informed the 6'10" 19-year-old that he will be chosen with the team's first overall pick in the draft. This concludes any presiding over the rumors that Simmons would be saddened with landing in Philadelphia, as he iterated that his trip to the City of Brotherly Love would be one of introduction to the team as the new face of the franchise.
Simmons previously made waves in the NBA rumor mill by originally declining a face-to-face workout at the 76ers headquarters. However, this was due to agent Rich Paul's insistence that his client not audition for Philadelphia without the promise of the team selecting him with the first pick.
All it took for the 76ers to cement this guarantee was for Colangelo and head coach Brett Brown to witness Simmons work out in his personal dwelling in Cleveland last Friday. This was followed by a meeting between the three in addition to Paul and other Philadelphia officials, where the medical information of the Australian native was exchanged and an agreement for Simmons to take the trip to Pennsylvania on Tuesday was made.
The 239-pounder, who iterated the 76ers catchphrase of "Trust the Process" in a subsequent Instagram post following his workout with the team, has built the reputation of an athletic wonder who can stuff all areas of the stat sheet. In his lone season at LSU, Simmons became the first collegiate player since Ron Harper of Miami-Ohio in 1986 to compile 19 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists per contest.
In transition, Simmons is a miracle worker, with an astounding 26% of his total plays coming in the fast break with him handling the ball in 62.3% of those situations in 2015-16. His passing skills are unquestioned, and his unselfish nature combined with his stunning court vision for a 6'10" athlete draws comparisons to that of Magic Johnson and LeBron James.