So, the Boston Celtics are on the clock.
The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly told Ben Simmons that they’re going to select him with the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft. If the Sixers indeed choose the LSU product, the Los Angeles Lakers will select Duke’s Brandon Ingram with the No. 2 pick, barring a last-minute blockbuster trade offer, league sources told ESPN.
None of this is surprising, as Simmons and Ingram have been fixtures atop most NBA mock drafts for a while now. The only question was whether the Sixers would consider going with Ingram over Simmons, but it’s become clear that won’t be the case. Simmons himself even posted a photo to Instagram on Tuesday with the caption, “Trust the process,” a phrase made popular by former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie, who stepped down in April.
The Lakers carefully vetted several other prospects, including Providence’s Kris Dunn and Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, before settling on Ingram, according to ESPN. But the feeling within the organization reportedly was that Ingram provides both the best fit and the most upside for the team.
The focus now shifts to Boston, which currently owns the No. 3 pick. The Celtics reportedly have been shopping the selection in the hopes of landing an impact veteran, but they have been unable to find a trade partner, and it’s unclear who they’ll select if they keep the pick.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images