Ben Simmons isn't your usual number one draft pick. The Australian has to deal with the high hopes of a beleaguered franchise in the Philadelphia 76ers, as well as tall comparisons to LeBron James in his rookie season.
The LSU-product was considered along with Brandon Ingram as one of the two stand-out players in an otherwise rather mediocre draft class.
However, that doesn't detract from Simmons' star power; many believe he has the talent to have topped nearly any draft class that has come before him.
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It would seem that the buzz around the forward has captured the imagination of fans around the league as his merchandise sales are rivalling the top stars already.
According to Philly.com: "Since draft night, Fanatics.com is reporting that in terms of merchandise sales, Simmons is the 10th-best seller among National Basketball Association players. He’s the highest-selling Philadelphia athlete in all sports across the Fanatics platform of hundreds of e-commerce sites, which includes SixersShop.com – the Sixers’ official team store.
"Demand for Simmons merchandise helped SixersShop.com see a 76 percent spike in sales compared with July 2015, according to Fanatics.com."
Of course, the Sixers haven't been the most attractive team to support in recent years after churning out some of the worst records in NBA history.
They haven't had a franchise star for fans to attach themselves to either, but with Simmons, the returning Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, the Sixers are now loaded with talented options in addition to Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor.
Could this year be different for the City of Brotherly Love?