Goorjian: You should be fired if you don't take Simmons with top pick


As the 2016 NBA Draft looms large, top prospect Ben Simmons and his standing in basketball is unquestionable according to Kevin Goorjian, who insists "if you get the number one pick and you don't take him you should be fired".

Goorjian knows Simmons better than most, having worked closely with the LSU star during his early days as a student at Box Hill High School in Melbourne, Australia.

Already compared to the likes of four-time NBA MVP LeBron James, the 19-year-old forward is now projected to go number one when the draft takes place in Brooklyn on June 23.

The Philadelphia 76ers are in pole position to select Simmons next month after winning Tuesday's Draft Lottery and if the rebuilding franchise pass on the opportunity to take the Australian, Goorjian has made it clear someone should lose their job, such is the youngster's potential.

"He is going to be the best basketballer Australia has produced," Goorjian - brother of former Australia coach Brian - told Omnisport.

"There was a quote that came up that if you get the number one pick and you don't take Simmons you should be fired.

"I'm totally behind that. He is the number one pick. It's clear."

If the 76ers surprisingly opt against Simmons, the Los Angeles Lakers will be waiting with open arms.

The Lakers have the second pick and are crying out for a young star to head the team's rebuild under new coach Luke Walton following Kobe Bryant's retirement.

Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has already gone on record to say Simmons - who averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game for LSU this season - is the best all-round player he has seen since James.

"If he ended up in LA that would be just fantastic," Goorijan said when asked if the Lakers would be a good fit.

"But wherever he ends up, he is going to make an impact and help a NBA team.

"I believe he is going to be an All-Star. I don't know of any Australians in All-Star teams.

"He is going to be special. He just has to stay injury free and keep developing."