The first selection in the NBA Draft can be an extremely exciting moment, especially for a team that did as poorly last year as the Philadelphia 76ers. In addition to nabbing a great talent, there’s also the surprise that comes with it, wondering who the team will pick. This year, though we’ll still be keeping you updated on the picks right here on this page, there isn’t exactly a surprise.
Major news outlets have been saying all week that all sources indicates the 76ers would take Ben Simmons with the 1st overall pick. The LSU forward has kept fairly tight-lipped on whether he knows anything, but a picture he posted to his Instagram account 2 days ago raised some eyebrows, as he was wearing a 76ers workout jersey.
And so Simmons is the pick. But the Sixers also have the 24th and 26th overall picks. Here are your Philadelphia 76ers 2016 NBA Draft picks.
Ben Simmons, PF, LSU
Surprise surprise. Simmons was a star at Louisiana State, averaging over 19 points a game with a .560 scoring percentage. Throw in 11.8 total rebounds and 4.8 assists per game, and suffice to say the 6’10 forward impressed a lot of people.
One of those people is reigning Finals MVP LeBron James. James has become a mentor to the 19 year old player, and according to ESPN, he’s even signed to James’s management agency, Klutch Sports Group.
Simmons has been a star since high school, moving from Australia to Florida. In a New York Times piece about him, they note that he led Montverde Academy to three consecutive high school national championships. He chose LSU as a challenge to himself, going to a school without a legendary basketball pedigree as opposed to a school like Duke or Kentucky. Simmons told the Times, in regards to LSU not making the NCAA tournament, “The experience at L.S.U. helped me understand that things are not always going to be perfect… I was getting all of that thrown on me, but I had to deal with it, and it came with the territory.”
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, SF, France
Standing 6’7 and 205 pounds, Luwawu-Cabarrot averaged 14.6 points per game in his last season playing in the Adriatic League in France. Scouts praise his incredible wingspan above all else, but say that despite an improved scoring efficiency he’s still an growing player. His size is definitely tailored to the NBA, but it’s those improvements he’s been making that have people thinking Luwawu-Cabarrot could be a real dark horse pick for the 76ers.
Furkan Korkmaz, SG, Turkey
Korkmaz is still very young, and as an 18 year old averaged just under 9 minutes a game, with 2.7 points per game. But the potential is there. Scouts praise his ability to hit shots well from the perimeter. There are also questions about if he can become more than a one-dimensional player, as well as whether he will even play in the States this year. Time will tell if he can maintain and develop the explosiveness that scouts have praised. If he can, that’s big for Philly. NBADraft.com called him a “natural born scorer.”