For an NBA Draft Lottery that had lots of hype going in, there weren’t many surprises.
The order remained intact based on the probabilities heading into Tuesday night, going in projected order for the first time ever.
The Philadelphia 76ers had the best chance at landing the No. 1 overall pick, which is exactly what happened, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 2 and the Boston Celtics at No. 3 (a pick they acquired from Brooklyn in the Kevin Garnett–Paul Pierce trade).
When Sixers found out they had the #1 pick… pic.twitter.com/AA2xpTPHNc
— Obsev Sports (@ObsevSports) May 18, 2016
So now that we know the order, let the speculation begin.
The consensus first pick seems to be LSU’s Ben Simmons, as it’s highly expected he’ll either go No. 1 or 2 with Duke’s Brandon Ingram. Both are forwards that are strong in nearly all parts of the game.
Personally, I think Philly will likely go with Simmons and build around him. He obviously has all the hype, and looks to be a quick fit for the NBA. That being said, Ingram’s shooting and defense is very much analogous to Kevin Durant when he came out of Texas. By no means is Simmons a shoo-in at No. 1.
The Celtics could do anything really at No. 3. A big man like Dragan Bender from Croatia is a fascinating option. Many draw comparisons to New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, and a versatile seven-footer is always frightening. Boston also struggled shooting from deep this season, so perhaps they’ll go with a shooter (Buddy Hield?), even with a plethora of guards already on the roster.
But don’t be surprised if the C’s trade their pick and land a big trade, similar to what they did to kickstart the Big Three era. Boston has eight picks—three of them in the first round—so multiple deals are likely.
It’s going to be an intriguing draft in an even more intriguing offseason.