Ben Simmons will be looking to become the second Australian taken at No.1 when the 2016 NBA Draft takes place at the Barclays Center. Join The Roar for all of the live action from 10am AEST.
Simmons has long been touted as the No.1 pick ever since his high school days at Montverde Academy. During his one and done season at LSU the speculation only continued to grow, however, with his side not making the NCAA March Madness tournament, contenders arose.
Duke’s Brandon Ingram staked his claim for the throne of best College prospect along with Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield who shot the lights out.
A lot of college prospects use the extra bright lights of the March Madness tournament to showcase their skills to potential suitors, Simmons unfortunately wasn’t presented with this opportunity.
Luckily for him it wasn’t required as his body of work was enough to maintain his lead atop the leaderboard.
With all eyes set to be on whom Commissioner Adam Silver will read out as the fabled No.1 draft pick, the news may already be common knowledge, with Fox Sports’ Olgun Uluc reporting that Philadelphia has advised Simmons they’ll be selecting him with the pick.
Even with that piece of information history has taught us that Draft Day is full of ups and downs. Anything can happen on this day with so many teams wanting to either enhance their standing or shift picks you just never know what may happen.
Watch for plenty of trades, especially from the Boston area and maybe even the odd surprise selection. With a rising cap coming into play, rookie scale contracts are virtual gold so teams may even be looking at players they can pick and stash overseas – hello NBL!
While Simmons should go at the very top of the draft another Australian is causing rumblings among scouts and team GMs, Thon Maker.
Maker is expected to fall in the latter half of the first round with rumors that the Celtics have an eye on 216cm dynamo. Taking the unconventional path of coming straight from high school many teams are unsure on Maker although he tested through the roof at the Draft Combine.
There is an abundance of NBA Mock Drafts readily available, however, I’ll give you how I think proceedings may unfold today.
1: Ben Simmons (Philly)
2: Brandon Ingram (Lakers)
3: Kris Dunn (Celtics) – Should be traded away
4: Dragan Bender (Suns)
5: Buddy Hield (Wolves) – potential trade
6: Jamal Murray (Pelicans)
7: Jaylen Brown (Nuggets)
8: Marquese Chriss (Kings)
9: Henry Ellenson (Raptors)
10: Jakob Poeltl (Bucks)
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