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Ben Simmons at PG will factor into Sixers draft decision

Philadelphia 76ers Media Day
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers are committed to playing the top overall pick of the ’16 Draft – Ben Simmons – at the point guard position next season, and that commitment will impact the team’s decision on draft day in 2017.

Though it won’t be the only factor that goes into the decision, the organization’s plan for Simmons will be one of a plethora taken into account when making the pick, according to a source with knowledge of the team’s line of thinking.

Simmons is unproven at point, but the Sixers are enamored with his potential at the position and want to put the ball in his hands to start his career, rather than making a transition sometime down the road.

What this means for draft day is that the team may take an extra-long look at players that project to pair favorably on-court with Simmons; a dangerous catch-and-shoot floor-spacer like Malik Monk for example, or a complementary two-way forward like Josh Jackson.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that the team would pass on an elite point prospect if there was one that they especially liked however. The team is confident in Simmons’ ability to pair well with whoever they select.

The Sixers’ plan for Simmons is a concern for the camp of at least one likely lottery pick – Lonzo Ball – who projects to be a ball-dominant guard in the league.

From ESPN:

“League sources said the concern regarding the Ball-Sixers link is the organization’s plan to feature forward Ben Simmons, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, in a ball dominant, point-forward role next season.

Under those basketball circumstances, it wouldn’t appear to be an ideal pairing. Ball is a playmaking point guard who figures to need the ball in his hands to maximize his true potential. However, the Sixers believe Ball and Simmons can mesh at a high level, sources say.”

Again, this wrinkle is just one aspect of a complex – and extremely important – decision for the Sixers, but it will play a part.

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