When comparing the top two prospects in this 2016 NBA Draft, many see LSU’s Ben Simmons as having the highest ceiling, but see Duke’s Brandon Ingram as having the ideal style for this era of basketball. Thankfully for the Lakers, they don’t have to make a decision between the two as they can take whoever is left after Philadelphia selects first.
At this stage it looks like Philadelphia is set on Simmons, leaving the Lakers with Ingram at number two. That scenario may be exactly what the Lakers have wanted all along.
According to Jonathan Givony of The Vertical, the Lakers would have targeted Ingram even if they had the first overall pick:
Ingram is the player the Lakers would have targeted at No. 1 had they won the lottery, sources told The Vertical. He is a perfect fit for their roster and should generate a great deal of excitement about the future.
This comes as something of a surprise as it had been reported before the lottery that the Lakers preferred Simmons to Ingram. There had also been rumors that Simmons preferred to wind up in Los Angeles as opposed to Philadelphia.
Focusing on Ingram does make sense for the Lakers because, as Givony pointed out, Ingram is a perfect fit for this Lakers roster and should slide in nicely next to Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and D’Angelo Russell. Those four together could be exactly what is needed to finally turn things around in Los Angeles.
The Sixers recently met with Simmons for the first time and have already worked out Ingram. Nothing is for certain at this stage, but it sure seems like both the Sixers and Lakers will wind up with who they wanted all along.