The 2016 NBA Draft is still a month away, and Rumor is putting in work. Those thousand eyes and ears don’t miss a thing.
With the Philadelphia 76ers picking first and the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics up at No. 2 and 3, respectively, it’s a race for second between LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram. Sorry, Sixers, but most kids grow up with a dream of playing for the Lakers.
Well, there’s been talk that Simmons, the presumptive No. 1 overall pick, is trying to force his way down the draft board to end up in Los Angeles. It’s not unheard of for a collegiate athlete to target a team come draft day, but 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo isn’t buying it.
“There’s been a lot of that floating around,” said Colangelo, addressing the rumors in an interview with Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. “I know that some people like to poison the well. We’ve got good relationships with the agent, we’ve got good relationships with the family because Brett [Brown] has known Ben Simmons’ father for years. We also know Brandon Ingram’s people very well, whether it’s his agent or obviously his college coach. I really have not been concerned about what I hear and read. I also don’t like to take speculation and rumor and give it any kind of truth or validate it in any way. Obviously, we’re going to have a chance to sit down and talk to these individuals.”
I guess interviewing Simmons will be the best way to learn of his intentions. If he tells you “I want to play for L.A.,” you can put him down as a maybe.
“The bottom line is, we’re going to pick the player that we think is the best fit for our team and the best piece for us to build around and with…It seems a little bit inconsistent with a team that’s had three years of losing, but what an opportunity for a young, transformational type of player to come into and really be a part of something special, as you build it from the ground up.”
Yeah, but they also have that opportunity with the Lakers—you know, a storied franchise.