No surprises as top pick Simmons heads NBA Draft


As expected, Ben Simmons went to the Philadelphia 76ers with pick number one in the NBA Draft, while the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics made their moves.

Likened to three-time NBA champion and four-time league MVP LeBron James, the 76ers wasted little time selecting Australian and LSU star Simmons in Brooklyn on Thursday.

The 19-year-old Simmons was Philadelphia's first number one pick since Hall of Fame guard Allen Iverson arrived amid much fanfare in 1996.

Simmons averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and two steals per game for LSU.

With the second pick in the draft, Duke forward Brandon Ingram went to the Lakers, who are entering the post-Kobe Bryant era with new coach Luke Walton at the helm.

Ingram averaged 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 1.1 steals per game and shot 41 percent from the three-point line.

After much speculation, the Celtics stayed put and selected Cal forward Jaylen Brown third overall.

Brown averaged 14.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in his lone season at Cal.

He is the third Cal player to be selected in the top three of an NBA Draft; Jason Kidd went second overall in 1994 and Shareef Abdur-Rahim went third overall in 1996. 

The Phoenix Suns went international as they took Croatian Dragan Bender with pick four, while Kris Dunn's name was called by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Buddy Hield went to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Denver Nuggets selected Jamal Murray, Marquese Chriss was initially picked by the Sacramento Kings before he was traded to the Suns, and Jakob Poeltl made his way to the Toronto Raptors.

The Milwaukee Bucks used the 10th pick on Thon Maker as Australia had two players in the NBA's top 10 for the first time in history.

Rounding out the top 20 were Domantas Sabonis (Magic, traded to Oklahoma City Thunder), Taurean Prince (Utah Jazz, traded to Atlanta Hawks), Georgios Papagiannis (Suns, traded to Kings), Denzel Valentine (Chicago Bulls), Juan Hernangomez (Nuggets), Guerschon Yabusele (Celtics), Wade Baldwin IV (Grizzlies), Henry Ellenson (Detroit Pistons), Malik Beasley (Nuggets), Caris LeVert (Pistons, traded to Brooklyn Nets).