NBA Draft Lottery: Where Does Ben Simmons Go?
Tonight was the NBA Draft Lottery, an annual event that is part pro sports, and part pro wrestling. For over 30 years, the NBA Draft has been accused of being as rigged as a Don King boxing event. Certain teams seem to draw the #1 spot, sometimes against all odds, when a player that 'fits' with their team needs to land in their lap. Looking at you Cleveland.
One of the other big complaints about the NBA Draft structure is the approach some teams have to try and tank their seasons to try and get the #1 pick. For most of the last decade, the Philadelphia 76ers have been trying this tactic. They've had their share of top picks (though not the #1 pick since 1996), and they STILL haven't turned into a winning franchise.
Tonight, once again, the 76ers had a chance at the #1 pick in the lottery, and they got it.
Which means they are the likely landing spot for the highest rated NBA Draft prospect this year, LSU's Ben Simmons. Which may not be the best news in the world for a player like Simmons.
When Simmons was set to land in Baton Rouge, LSU basketball fans expected a big SEC year, a high seed heading into March Madness, and maybe even a say in the Final Four. None of that actually happened tough. Actually, his stay in Baton Rouge was one of the biggest wastes in the history of the NCAA. This situation is the exact reason that the NBA/NCAA's one-and-done agreement is a terrible idea.
Simmons didn't NEED to go to LSU, he could have played pro ball in China, or just sat out a year, and would have been in the same place, or above where he is now. His decision to play at LSU made the University, coaches, and others affiliated with the team a lot of money, but what did he get out of it? His team failed in all of their season goals, he didn't go to class, and his draft stock did grow at all. Basically the only thing he did was eat up a scholarship position from another kid.
So what I'm trying to say is that Ben Simmons gained nothing from LSU, and now he's possibly going to a franchise who has struggled to build anything for a long time. Simmons did not come off as a big time leader in Baton Rouge. He didn't have the skill set or star power to put a team on his back and carry them into the NCAA Tournament, like a Carmelo Anthony or Derrick Rose. So what is he going to do at the NBA? I have a feeling he might be more Anthony Bennett, and less Blake Griffin.