Ben Simmons has arrived.
The multi-talented 19-year-old, born in Fitzroy, has become Australia’s second ever number one pick in the NBA Draft, after the Philadelphia 76ers selected him first overall at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.
Speculation had been rife in the lead up to the draft that Simmons might slide to number two in the draft, with his reported preferred location being the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, the 76ers put speculation to bed by taking Simmons first overall.
Simmons, born in Melbourne, spent the past year playing college ball for Louisiana State University which, despite mediocre results for the team across the season, saw Simmons shine. Across the season, Simmons averages 19 points per game, with 11 rebounds, and 4 assists.
The young forward has tremendous upside, and slots into a 76ers side that is ripe with young talent, but is in the middle of a tough rebuild period under former Boomers coach Brett Brown.
The 76ers also made an aggressive push for a trade deal that would see them acquire the Boston Celtics‘ 3rd pick in the draft, at times reportedly offering either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafur.
Fellow Australian baller and former Sudanese refugee Thon Maker is also expected to be selected reasonably early in today’s draft.
Updates to come.
Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty.