Philadelphia 76ers’ Draft Decision Made Easy By LeBron James

Mar 12, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; LSU Tigers forward Ben Simmons (25) controls the ball in the first half against the Texas A&M Aggies during the SEC conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; LSU Tigers forward Ben Simmons (25) controls the ball in the first half against the Texas A&M Aggies during the SEC conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

If there was any doubt to the Philadelphia 76ers 2016 NBA Draft choice, LeBron James Just Made It Easy

41 points on 59% from the field, eight rebounds, three blocks, four steals and 11 assists to one turnover. To 99.9% of the players in the NBA, having a statline like this at the end of the night would be crazy. But for one man, this statline is nothing special or crazy to see by him, especially in the NBA Finals. His name is LeBron James. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the guy before but he’s pretty good at this basketball thing.

There’s a 19 year old who will be available for the Philadelphia 76ers to pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. This 19 year old plays more like LeBron than anyone I have seen and has been said to be the closest thing to LeBron by many NBA analysts and experts. The 19 year old’s name is Ben Simmons.

This guy LeBron has led his team to a win three times in the last five games against a team that went 73-9 in the regular season (the best regular season record ever), has the NBA’s first unanimous MVP on the roster, a shooting guard who plays great defense and would be considered the best shooter in the league if it wasn’t for his backcourt mate, a point forward who is a defensive stopper and great passer, and a host of great role players who’d be starters if they were on different teams.

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Despite all of that, the Golden State Warriors have lost three of the last five to a team who lost 16 more games than them in the regular season. Those losses were not nail biters either. The Warriors got beaten fair and square and dominated in those losses and there’s one reason why. When the best player in the world and possibly ever sets his mind to win, it doesn’t matter who is on the other team or what they do. The team with the best player in the world will give his team a great chance to win no matter what and that is exactly what LeBron James has done throughout the NBA Finals.

I really hope 76ers Gm Bryan Colangelo and the 76ers staff is watching this NBA Finals very closely because there is no way you look at what LeBron is doing, then look at how similar Ben Simmons is to him, and then don’t take Simmons at number one in the draft. I am in no way saying Simmons is LeBron or will be as good as LeBron but if you have the chance to take a guy who could be even 75% or 85% of what LeBron is you have to take him regardless of fit.

Think of it this way, Michael Jordan who is arguably the best player of all time was drafted in 1984 (the same year LeBron was born). Twelve years later in 1996 (the year Ben Simmons was born) a guy by the name of Kobe Bryant was drafted and was compared to Jordan like every other young and rising guard in the league at that time. Kobe was the guard who was finally worthy of the comparison and while not exactly as good as Jordan, he was close enough and played just like him and you’d have to be crazy to say (if you had a time machine to back to 1996) that you would be leery to draft Kobe because he wouldn’t be as great as Jordan. While not as great as Jordan, Kobe is still a top 15 player of all time in my opinion and almost any basketball fan ever would have no problem having prime Kobe being the number one guy on their team.

LeBron James was drafted in 2003. Thirteen years later we are looking at a guy who plays just like him and has a similar build, mindset, etc. Simmons looks up to LeBron and his play style just like how Kobe looked up to and admired Michael Jordan. This is no Andrew Wiggins situation. I don’t know how Wiggins was ever compared to LeBron. He only compares to LeBron athletically and even then he is nowhere near as strong as LeBron was at any point in LeBron’s career. Wiggins greatest weakness is ball handling and passing and those two things are Simmons and LeBron’s greatest strengths.

Simmons is the closest thing to LeBron I have seen. Looking at stats or game tape it is easy to see. I was wavering on Simmons before, but after the 76ers secured the first draft pick and seeing LeBron do what he does, I am 100% all in now on drafting Ben Simmons with the first pick. The 76ers are now leaning towards trading Jahlil Okafor so drafting Simmons makes more sense if Okafor is traded. Okafor is currently my favorite player on the team but this league is a business and if the 76ers front office believes trading Okafor and drafting Simmons is what is best for the future, they have to do it. To have a player on your team that could be your best passer, rebounder, defender, and scorer is something you can’t pass on.

Having a player that can single handedly elevate his teammates and himself to beat even some of the greatest teams of all time is extremely valuable. If that is Ben Simmons’ ceiling, then there is no question at all who will be the first name called on draft night.