THE future of Australia’s next basketball phenomenon, Ben Simmons, will become clearer after tomorrow’s NBA 2016 Draft Lottery.
After a strong debut season with Louisiana University, Simmons, 19, is the $1.40 favourite to be selected with the number one draft pick in his year’s NBA draft, according to sportsbet.com.au.
The bookie has reported that 80 per cent of the money punted on its NBA draft market is predicting Simmons’ name will be the first called out.
The Philadelphia 76ers are the $3.60 favourite to win the NBA Lottery, ahead of the LA Lakers ($4.33) and Boston Celtics ($5.50).
“Simmons is set for a long and successful career in the NBA, with Andrew Bogut the only other Aussie to be taken at number one in the draft,’’ said sportsbet.com.au’s Ben Bulmer.
“The only down side for Simmons is that he might have to play for the 76ers, the worst team in the NBA, but it should guarantee him some decent court time in his debut NBA season.”
Simmons averaged 19 points, 11 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2 steals a game at the small forward position during his first season at Luisiana State University. His accomplishments on the court were overshadowed by a forgettable season in which his school failed to qualify for the NCAA national championship tournament on their way to a 19-14 season – a result that could see some teams shy away from Simmons as the number one selection.
The good news for Simmons is that if he is selected as the number one pick, he stands to earn almost US$5 million – not bad coin for your first real job.
2016 NBA Draft Lottery – number one pick:
$1.40 Ben Simmons
$2.60 Any other player
NBA Draft Lottery winner
$3.60 Philadelphia 76ers
$4.33 Los Angeles Lakers
$5.50 Boston Celtics
$7.00 Phoenix Suns
$9.00 Minnesota Timberwolves
$12 Denver Nuggets
$34 Sacramento Kings
$36 Milwaukee Bucks
$76 Orlando Magic
$81 Utah Jazz
$101 Washington Wizards
$101 Chicago Bulls
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