11:00am: Simmons’ workout with the Sixers is the “strongest indication yet” that the club has promised to take the former LSU forward with the first overall pick, since agent Rich Paul likely wouldn’t have let Simmons work out without such a promise, sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links).
9:52am: After initially appearing as though he wouldn’t work out for any teams leading up to the 2016 NBA draft, top prospect Ben Simmons did indeed have a workout this morning with the Sixers, sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Reports have indicated that the Sixers are strongly leaning toward Simmons with the No. 1 pick over Brandon Ingram, the other consensus top-two prospect in this year’s class. From Simmons’ perspective, there didn’t seem to be much benefit in working out for clubs — even if Philadelphia opted to pass on him with the first overall pick, he’d almost certainly land with the Lakers, initially rumored to be his preferred destination anyway.
However, it seems as if that stance changed, with Simmons getting a look from the Sixers this morning, a few days after meeting with the club. While there have been no reports yet on how today’s workout went, there’s probably not much chance it turned Philadelphia off the former LSU forward.
Let’s check in on a few other Sixers items…
- Trade talks between the Sixers and Celtics may be heating up, according to Gary Tanguay and Tim Welsh of WEEI.com (Twitter link). As we’ve heard before, Philadelphia likes former Providence point guard Kris Dunn a lot, and while the team probably won’t seriously consider Dunn at No. 1, acquiring the No. 3 overall pick from Boston to select him is a possibility. Either Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel would have to be involved in such a deal.
- In addition to working out Simmons, the Sixers also have a six-man workout group in today, according to a team release. The participants are Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma), Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Brandon Taylor (Penn State), Tyler Ulis (Kentucky), and Guerschon Yabusele (France).
- Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga) is also expected to work out for the Sixers prior to Thursday’s draft, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.