It’s no longer a foregone conclusion that the Philadelphia 76ers draft LSU forward Ben Simmons with the No. 1 overall pick. After Monday’s workout, it seems like Duke’s Brandon Ingram has won over the Sixers management, including coach Brett Brown and GM Bryan Colangelo.
Brandon Ingram dines with Sixers
Ingram arrived in Philadelphia Sunday night and reportedly dined with Joel Embiid, Brown and Sixers executives in Rittenhouse Square. On Monday morning, he put on “a show” for them in a private workout session which was also witnessed by players Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Robert Covington, Christian Wood, and Nik Stauskas.
According to the Philadelphia Enquirer, “Ingram made his fair share of shots as the Sixers put him through shooting drills. He was obviously tired in the portion of the workout that was open to the media, but he kept pushing through it.” (Watch: Workout Video #1) (Watch: Workout Video #2)
Ingram, speaking to a flock of reporters after his workout session at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, said that his “mental toughness” separates him from other top prospects in the draft class. Is that a subtle shot at Simmons? “My mental toughness, a guy with high character. But everyone is different in the draft. Everyone talks different in the draft. Everyone has a different character and everyone has a difference preference.”
Related Story: Ben Simmons Speaks On Where He’d Prefer Going
Ben Simmons won’t workout with Sixers
Metro Sports reports that Simmons’ reluctance to workout with Sixers could be a telling factor on draft night. “Reports seem to be swirling (and were confirmed by Bryan Colangelo Monday) that Simmons refuses to work out for the Sixers. There is no Philadelphia visit on the books and no plans for one, despite the 76ers’ interest in meeting with him,” writes Evan Macy.
Remember, the Sixers drafted Jahlil Okafor at No. 3 last year without ever working out the Duke center. Therefore, it’s entirely possible that Sixers draft Simmons without the customary pre-draft workouts and interview. The Lakers, who own the No. 2 pick in the draft, worked out Ingram a few days back.
Colangelo, president of basketball operations for the Sixers, confirmed that his team was yet to finalize between Simmons and Ingram. “I think Brandon is everything that we thought he was,” Colangelo said Monday. “Today obviously in a one-on-none workout, you are not going to learn everything about a player. But that’s why we scouted a lot of basketball games, watched a lot of tape.”
It’s possible that the Sixers travel to Cleveland, Ohio, to watch Simmons work out. The NBA Draft is on June 23. Expect the Brandon Ingram vs Ben Simmons debate to heat up over the next week.