With the second overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft now officially an asset for the Los Angeles Lakers, anything is possible with the team’s front office seemingly open to the idea of trading their lottery pick if an ideal opportunity presents itself.
The Philadelphia 76ers, however, may not be as open as Lakers when it comes to considering trading away their first-round draft choice. Although the 76ers haven’t ruled out a trade to send the number one pick in the draft elsewhere, general manager Bryant Colangelo admits making a deal involving the top pick in the draft isn’t likely, via Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk:
“I would say you never say never, but certainly trading the No. 1 pick is a highly unlikely situation,” Colangelo said.
Philadelphia is already a team filled with young players with the struggling franchise being a regular at the draft lottery. Along with bringing in Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and Jahlil Okafor over the last few years, the 76ers will have three more first-round picks this year unless a trade is made come draft day on June 23. Colangelo and company own picks 24 and 26 as well as number one overall.
Colangelo, much like Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, believes his team needs a good balance of veteran players and young talent, via Helin:
“I’ve been quoted as saying you can only have so many developing players in your fold,” Colangelo said after his team saw the lottery balls bounce their way in a win. “There’s a lot to consider to finding a balance… I think there needs to be a blend of young talent and veterans on your roster, there needs to be a balance.”
At this point, it seems to be a foregone conclusion the 76ers will select Ben Simmons out of LSU with the top pick in the draft. Philadelphia is reportedly leaning heavily toward taking Simmons over Duke’s Brandon Ingram who will likely fall to the Lakers at number two.
Although the writing does appear to be on the wall in Philadelphia, there’s still about a month to go before draft day and things can change quickly over the course of the next four weeks.
Simmons has been linked to the Lakers for quite some time and the LSU product reportedly hopes to end up in Los Angeles to help increase his shoe deal endorsement as well as reunite with high school teammate D’Angelo Russell.