Simmons finally had his workout with Philly and also has been announced as the team's pick. They could do a lot worse than to start fresh with a legitimate potential franchise player like him. Now they just need to make moves to make the pieces around him fit.
Power Forward / 7-0 / Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) / 1997
2.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg
The Nuggets seem to be Bender's backstop as there's speculation he could go 3 or 4, but more and more chatter has him falling to 7, where Denver, who has a heavy International focus would likely gobble him up. Bender had a rough season, and needs time before he can begin to realize his talent.
The Kings are in need of a power forward and while there may be a few players that offer more upside, for a team under pressure to produce (Sam Hinkie fleeced them out of a number of future picks), Sabonis makes perfect sense as a guy that can be an instant contributor. His emotional leadership is a big bonus. Vlade is said to love the kid, and happens to be friends with his dad (Arvydas).
Some other players have been linked to this pick, such as Jakob Poeltl. It's possible that Chriss's upside will be too much to pass on before this pick, but as the biggest boom-or-bust pick, who's probably the furthest from contributing, Chriss could be the guy that falls. The Raptors are known for valuing athleticism, so Chriss fits that to a tee. Toronto got this pick by fleecing the Knicks out of it for Bargnani a few seasons back.
Davis would help bolster the Bucks frontcourt and also gives nice potential for the future. This team could be losing Greg Monroe, so a young big man with athleticism and strength would offer a solid long-term replacement.
Skal offers upside, but there is a lot of skepticism about his heart and determination. The Suns have a young team, and if they opt for a wing like Brown at 4, as we've projected, going for a power forward here seems obvious. Skal will take time and needs someone dedicated to building his confidence and body.
There's a good chance that Ellenson will be off the board by this pick. If not, Ellenson gives the Boston frontcourt a potential stretch four to groom for the future. Depending on what they do with their first pick, the power forward position offers a lot of value in this range with other possiblities including Brice Johnson and Deyonta Davis.
Cheick is one of the players that Atlanta is said to be very high on. He may take a while to see the floor, but as he showed at the NBA combine, his length and motor gives him a lot of intrigue. If Atlanta is convinced that Al Horford will leave in free agency, they could target a more ready player such as Damian Jones or Diamond Stone.
Johnson is a guy who probably ends up in the 20s and is a great value here. While he's a senior, he's one of the draft's premiere athletes, which would fit right into the Clippers' frontcourt. Unfortunately he has not had strong workout reports, showing a lack of maturity at times.
Toronto likes length and athleticism and with International GM Masai Ujiri, Thon has both the African and Canadian connection. Maker could end up going higher, but his lack of experience and readiness might limit his draft ceiling. If Thon can add good weight and his legs hold up, he could end up being a steal at the end of the first round.
Hernangomez is very well liked by scouts and ready to head over to the NBA next season. He gets glowing reviews for character and work ethic and word is the Spurs will gobble him up if he's here and they keep their pick. Philly is another potential landing spot for "Juancho".