And none are stronger than how they feel about the No. 1 player on our Big Board, LSU freshman Ben Simmons. “Anyone that doesn’t have Simmons No. 1 [on their draft board] should be fired,” one longtime GM with a great draft track record told ESPN.com on Monday.
Ben Simmons is going to make some NBA team – maybe the Celtics but definitely not the Knicks or Nets – very happy sooner rather than later. Think Lamar Odom pre-Kardashian with the size and skill set to play and defend all five positions like the Warriors’ Draymond Green. He’s the prototype point forward who is unselfish to a fault and good enough to be making a contribution in the NBA right now. “He’s a very unique player,” says Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski. “Because of his size, athleticism and his ability to handle the ball he is unique.”
Celtics president Danny Ainge, who owns the Nets first round pick, was in attendance. (The Knicks traded their 2016 first round pick in the ill-fated Andrea Bargnani deal.) Scott Layden was here representing the Spurs while Sixers GM Sam Hinkie and Warriors general manager Bob Myers were also in the building. Philadelphia could definitely use Simmons while it would be absolutely unfair to think of the damage Simmons could do with Golden State. Luckily for the rest of the NBA that isn’t happening.