LSU’s Ben Simmons, the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, may prefer to be a Laker, but he “has no issue” with the idea of being selected by the Sixers, a source close to the player tells Tom Moore of The Bucks County Courier Times. Sixers VP of player personnel Marc Eversley indicated on Thursday that the team has yet to make a decision on how it will use that first overall pick, but according to Moore, multiple sources suggest Philadelphia is leaning toward Simmons over Brandon Ingram and others.
Here’s more on that No. 1 pick, along with a few other Atlantic items:
- Is there any chance the 76ers could select former Kentucky guard Jamal Murray with that first overall pick? Eversley suggested Murray is “in contention” for that top spot, and Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer suggests that some members of the Sixers organization believe he has more upside than anyone in this draft. Still, Pompey doesn’t expect Philadelphia to end up with Murray unless perhaps the team acquires another lottery pick.
- Derek Bodner of PhillyMag.com takes a closer look at the Jeff Teague/Nerlens Noel rumor that surfaced on Thursday, making the case that Noel is underrated and shouldn’t be moved in a deal that sends Teague to the Sixers.
- Top international prospect Dragan Bender is coming stateside this month, but he may work out for just three NBA teams when he arrives, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link), who hears that the Celtics figure to be among those clubs.
- The Nets are reportedly set to begin a mini-camp on June 6th, and the influence of new head coach Kenny Atkinson can be seen in the list of participants, as NetsDaily explains.