Although LSU's Ben Simmons has widely been expected to be the number one overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, it appears as though the Philadelphia 76ers have confirmed that notion.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Sixers brass have already told Simmons they are going to take him as their number one selection and their minds are made up.
There had been an ongoing debate between Duke's Brandon Ingram - who has worked out for the 76ers - and Simmons over who would enjoy the privilege of being called the top overall pick.
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Given Philly's plethora of frontcourt options, it had even been suggested that they might try and secure backcourt starlets like Buddy Hield or Kris Dunn. However, according to the report, the Sixers' minds are already made up.
The report states: "The 76ers' promise was first reported by Cleveland.com and confirmed by ESPN.
"The team worked Simmons out privately Tuesday, the first and only workout he has done leading up to the draft. This was after the LSU star met with the team last week in Cleveland, where Simmons had been working out.
"Simmons told SportsCenter on Tuesday that he was in Philadelphia to "introduce myself."
"He later posted "Trust the process" on his Instagram account along with a picture showing him in a 76ers workout jersey."
The Australian sensation is just 19-years-old and averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists during his sole year with LSU, but the team's fortunes didn't reflect his play as he was unable to lead the Tigers to a NCAA tournament berth.
Since his college career ended, Simmons has signed with Klutch Sports - which is primarily owned by LeBron James' agent, Rich Paul - and he signed an estimated $12 million five-year shoe endorsement deal with Nike.
The report continued: "Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo told reporters afterward that by choosing to work out for the team, Simmons "closed the chapter on any doubt" that he didn't want to play for Philadelphia. Duke's Brandon Ingram and every other player Colangelo said the team would consider drafting already had worked out.
"Colangelo said the fact that Simmons worked out in front of himself and team ownership "speaks to his desire to want to be selected No. 1."
"Sources previously told ESPN that there was a strong likelihood agent Rich Paul would not have let Simmons audition for 76ers brass without the promise of the No. 1 pick."
It seems like Simmons and his team had the power all along when it comes to the top selection. He is undoubtedly a top talent, even if question marks persist over his application.
Suggestions that he might be the next LeBron James might be a stretch at this point, but Philadelphia's apparent promise suggests they have every faith he might be. If that comparison wasn't enough, he's going to be the Sixers first top pick since Allen Iverson back in 1996.