The 76ers informed Ben Simmons‘ camp this morning that the LSU forward will be the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA draft, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com (Twitter link). Simmons worked out for Philadelphia today, his first workout for any team, and an earlier report from ESPN’s Marc Stein suggested that agent Rich Paul probably wouldn’t have allowed such a workout without a promise from the Sixers.
Simmons, widely considered the top prospect available – or at least one of the top two along with Duke’s Brandon Ingram – has long been viewed as the favorite to come off the board first overall. The Sixers have reportedly discussed Ingram and Providence point guard Kris Dunn at that spot, but keep coming back to Simmons, who likely has the highest upside of any player in this year’s class.
In addition to working out Simmons today, the Sixers are also privy to his medical records, and are believed to be the only team with access to those records, according to Keith Pompey of Philly.com (Twitter link).
Once the Sixers officially select Simmons, he’ll be the latest forward added to an increasingly crowded frontcourt in Philadelphia. With Joel Embiid aiming to return from injuries, Dario Saric potentially arriving from overseas this year, and Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel also in the mix, the team figures to explore trade options in order to clear its glut of bigs and acquire backcourt help.
As Pompey tweeted today, general manager Bryan Colangelo confirmed that the Sixers have had talks with virtually every NBA team, adding that they probably have “active discussions” with five to seven clubs. While Colangelo didn’t go into specific details, one of those teams is likely the Celtics — a report this week suggested that trade discussions between Boston and Philadelphia may be heating up, since the Sixers are very fond of Dunn and would like to acquire the No. 3 overall pick from the C’s.