Should the Sixers Take Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons?
Senior college basketball journalist for ESPN.
"I will be very surprised if it's not Ben Simmons," Katz told me on the Sports Bash. "I think they are going to be extremely active and I think they go with Simmons first and then try to make some moves."
Much has been made of the news that Simmons will not work out for NBA teams, but that isn't an alarming revelation to Katz who says this happens all the time now.
"That's the new world that we live in," Katz explained. "For example Buddy Hield and Marquese Chriss they worked out in California and didnt go to teams, teams had to go to them."
Simmons is reportedly unlikely to work out for NBA teams in advance of the draft, but Katz says that shouldn't prevent the Sixers from taking him with the top overall pick in the draft.
"If he's the best player for that team, they're going to take him," Katz said. "Not going on an interview or a workout in a particular city isn't going to ultimately sway them from not making that selection."
So what is the separation between the two talents?
While Simmons might have the better skill set, Ingram might have better intangibles. Katz points out a game where LSU played Oklahoma where Simmons deferred to a teammate to take the final shot of the game. Meanwhile, Ingram was the man who put the dagger in the hearts of Yale in the NCAA tournament when the Bulldogs fought back from 27 down in the game - it was Ingram who hit a three, got to the line and out the game away late.
"That is a knock on Ben Simmons, you didnt see that enough at LSU where he demanded the ball and just sort of took over, where Ingram is more apt to do that," Katz said.
In today's world, we like to nit-pick - so what is it about Simmons that people see that bothers them, what has put some doubt in the mind of some who at the start of the season believed that Simmons was the sure-fire No. 1 pick?
"I think its just the fact that he was not demonstrative," Katz said. " I think had hse been demonstrative this wouldn't even be a discussion."
So is it a discussion for you?
Who you taking Simmons or Ingram?