Philadelphia picked Ben Simmons as the first overall pick of the 2016 Draft Thursday (Friday, Manila time) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The 76ers grabbed the versatile 6-foot-10 forward from Australia who averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists to become the only player in SEC history to finish in the top five in all three categories.
He comes with some questions — he made only one 3-pointer — but too much potential for the 76ers to pass up with their first No. 1 pick since taking Allen Iverson 20 years ago.
The last No. 1 pick from Louisiana State University was Shaquille O’Neal — who will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame along with Iverson in September.
The Australian forward out of LSU brings tons of hope to the 76ers, which has constantly stayed at the bottom of the Eastern Conference for the past three seasons.
This marks the seventh straight year a freshman has been selected as the top pick, ninth in the last 10 years.
Simmons joins last year’s third overall pick Jahlil Okafor and previous lottery selections Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid in coach Brett Brown’s roster.
The Los Angeles Lakers, picking second for the second consecutive year, took Duke’s Brandon Ingram, who averaged 17.3 points as the ACC freshman of the year.
The Boston Celtics then began a busy night by picking California forward Jaylen Brown. Boston has eight picks in the two-round draft, starting with one it acquired from Brooklyn in 2013 in the deal that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to theNets. With a report from the Associated Press/CDG