That was the inquisition the Philadelphia 76ers were faced with by having the top overall pick in the NBA Draft.
Now news has the 76ers making a decision on who they are taking at the top. And it comes earlier than anticipated.
The Philadelphia 76ers are no longer on the clock. It is confirmed that the 76ers are taking LSU’s Ben Simmons with the top pick of the NBA Draft. All of the mystery regarding which collegiate or European player is going No. 1 just went out the window thanks to the Philadelphia 76ers revealing their pick (courtesy of Sports Illustrated).
How does the 76ers acknowledgment of the drafting of Ben Simmons affect the rest of the NBA Draft? Does the Sixers pick have any effect at all?
Even though the NBA Draft does not take place until Thursday night, the 76ers ended the debate on who will be the first player taken two days prior to the festivities. Ben Simmons is the guy who the 76ers are drafting. Since he is a power forward, it means that Philadelphia will have to make a move in order to slot him in.
Ben Simmons is in, which player is out?
Has Nerlens Noel played his last game? Has Jahlil Okafor?
What the Philadelphia 76ers decide to do will have a huge effect on the remainder of the NBA Draft. At least what the top-10 teams are doing. All it takes is for the 76ers to trade either Noel or Okafor for a draft pick to alter things. After Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram, who the Los Angeles Lakers will take unless they trade the No. 2 pick.
In fact two other teams with top five picks are interested in acquiring Jimmy Butler from the Bulls.
The Boston Celtics have long been rumored as a team sending out trade proposals for Butler. Just a week ago, ESPN confirmed that the Minnesota Timberwolves reached out to the Bulls to talk about a trade for the two-time all-star.
Yibada suggests that the Lakers are considering dangling the No. 2 pick and D’Angelo Russell for Jimmy Butler. A trade of that magnitude could be a game-changer.
Jimmy Butler is pretty good player but the potential of Brandon Ingram is difficult to pass up. Adding Russell gives the Bulls two young pieces to build with going forward. Unlike the 76ers, who are motivated by the idea of building a winner from the ground up, the Lakers want to attract stars. The Lakers want to lure LeBron James and Kevin Durant to Hollywood. Getting Jimmy Butler makes that an easier sell.
Look for the Lakers put together a package that the Bulls would find hard to refuse.
Once the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers are off the board, the NBA Draft will begin in earnest. The Boston Celtics are next on the list. If the Lakers fall short on acquiring Jimmy Butler, the Celtics will try to put together a strong offer themselves. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Celtics have been told no to the teams they have had dialogue with. If the Celtics keep the No. 3 pick, it is uncertain what direction they will go. There are four players who can lay claim to the third overall pick. Kris Dunn, Jamal Murray, Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss, and Jaylen Brown have all been linked to the No. 3 pick.
The Phoenix Suns and Timberwolves choose fourth and fifth respectively. Both teams would like to make a deal. Rumors had the Suns talking with the 76ers about Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. And as previously mentioned, the Timberwolves would love to have Jimmy Butler.
Although the Philadelphia 76ers have made their intentions known by announcing they are going to draft Ben Simmons, the draft picture looks muddied. Nothing will clear up until either the 76ers or Chicago Bulls decide what to do with their players. Where the 76ers send Nerlens Noel will cause a ripple effect in the NBA Draft. The same can be said if the 76ers trade Jahlil Okafor as well.
The major domino is actually Jimmy Butler. As teams jockey to put together trade offers for the Chicago Bulls’ burgeoning star, the NBA Draft will hang in the balance. Perhaps we are lucky that the Philadelphia 76ers got there decision out of the way when they said that they will draft Ben Simmons first overall.
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