The Philadelphia 76ers selected LSU big man Ben Simmons first in the NBA draft.
The 19-year-old averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his one year in Baton Rouge. He follows the first Australian picked at #1, Andrew Bogut, selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2005. Kyrie Irving, born in Melbourne, went first in the draft to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011.
Simmons boasts excellent passing, ball handling, and rebounding. But critics question his skills as a shooter.
“It’s amazing,” the six-foot-ten Simmons explained to ESPN after Adam Silver called his name. “I’m happy the Sixers chose me. It’s a great city, and I’m looking forward to getting to Philly.”
The Los Angeles Lakers picked Duke forward Brandon Ingram at two, the Boston Celtics surprised in taking California forward Jaylen Brown at three, the Phoenix Suns spent the fourth pick on seven-foot-one Croatian import Dragan Bender, and the Minnesota Timberwolves picked Providence point guard Kris Dunn in the fifth spot.