Ben Simmons can officially narrow his list of potential new homes down to two.
The NBA Draft Lottery, held earlier today, determined how the order of the upcoming NBA Draft will play out. And unlike in years past, the balls held true to form.
The Philadelphia 76ers will pick first in this year’s draft, ending a string of bad luck at the lottery and securing the franchise its first number one pick in 20 years. The last time the franchise held the pick back in 1996, they took Allen Iverson, sparking a mini-modern golden age for the team which culminated in an unlikely appearance in the 2001 NBA Finals.
The 76ers, who finished with the worst record in this year’s NBA season, had a 25% chance of securing the number one pick. The draft order held true-to-form for the first time in the lottery’s 31-year history, with the Los Angeles Lakers securing the second pick in the draft.
The third pick, although technically holding to form and going to the Brooklyn Nets, instead finds itself heading north to the Boston Celtics thanks to the gargantuan 2013 trade between the two sides that saw Boston send Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, and DJ White to the Nets, in exchange for Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, and unprotected first-round picks in the 2014, 2016, and 2018 drafts.
For LSU/Strayan phenom Ben Simmons, this means he’ll likely land at either the 76ers or the Lakers, with all expert opinion divided on whether Simmons, or Duke forward Brandon Ingram will be selected first overall.
Both the Lakers and the 76ers are in rebuild mode, following particularly dark periods in their respective franchise histories. Simmons, however, would seem like a much better fit for the Lakers, who are chasing more instantaneous flash and star power in order to satisfy their notoriously fickle Los Angeles-area audience. Particularly in the now post-Kobe Bryant era. A splurge on free agency and a hot rookie in Simmons would put the spark back into a Lakers side that has struggled ever since losing the mantle of the city’s best side to the Clippers some 5 years ago.
The full NBA Draft Lottery order looks a lil something like this:
1. Philadelphia 76ers
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn)
4. Phoenix Suns
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
6. New Orleans Pelicans
7. Denver Nuggets (via New York)
8. Sacramento Kings
9. Toronto Raptors (via Denver)
10. Milwaukee Bucks
11. Orlando Magic
12. Utah Jazz
13. Phoenix Suns (via Washington)
14. Chicago Bulls
The 2016 NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on June 23rd, from the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.
Photo: Orlando Magic/Twitter.