Ben Simmons, the consensus No. 1 pick in the forthcoming NBA Draft, would be happy to represent Philadelphia 76ers next season, contrary to reports that he’d prefer dropping No. 2 to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Last week, The Vertical revealed that Simmons would try and force his way to the bigger market of Los Angeles to try and procure a more lucrative shoe deal. With Philadelphia securing the top pick ahead of the draft, it’s likely that the forward would been seen in a Sixers jersey next season.
Olgun Uluc of Fox Sports Australia reports that the Simmons camp wouldn’t be against the idea of heading to the City of Brotherly Love. “Was told by a source close to Ben Simmons’ camp, before the lottery, that they have no issue with the market in Philadelphia,” Uluc tweeted few days ago.
Uluc also revealed that “lottery implications had nothing to do with Simmons holding off on shoe deal signing.” This should be music to the ears of the Sixers organization and its fans who have been bombarded with reports that the Simmons camp is thinking “Los Angeles Lakers or bust.”
Ben Simmons has no choice…
Lakers fan site Silver Screen & Roll argues that Simmons would have to be professional and represent whichever team drafts him. “It’s also important to remember that Simmons has very little control over where he ends up. Whether he wants to play in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, or the 1996 Chicago Bulls is ultimately unimportant, because if Simmons wants to play in the NBA he will have to do it for the team that drafts him.”
Simmons and Philadelphia should prove to be a good match since Sixers coach Brett Brown has known David Simmons, Ben’s father, since his days with the Melbourne Tigers. “The Ben Simmons connection, with his family and myself is a good story, I suppose. I was with David and Julie, his wife, in Orlando. They visited me when we played an NBA game two years ago,” Brown told ESPN a few days ago.
Connection with Brett Brown…
Brown revealed that he has maintained close ties with Simmons. “I saw Ben Simmons three years ago when I was coaching the Australian Olympic team. And you know, step by step. You have sporadic contact, but very serious contact many years ago. And incredibly coincidental that we find ourselves in this situation that we’re in now.”
According to ESPN, “NBA rules prohibit contact between NBA team personnel and draft-eligible players who have not yet declared for the draft.” Therefore, Brown was forced to cut ties with David Simmons to avoid any complications.
Ben Simmons could prove to the be player that makes the Sixers relevant again.
Was told by a source close to Ben Simmons' camp, before the lottery, that they have no issue with the market in Philadelphia
— Olgun Uluc (@OlgunUluc) May 18, 2016