Why the Sixers seem like a lock to draft Ben Simmons first overall

Published May. 18, 2016 4:28 p.m. ET

Depending on whom you ask, either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram will be selected with the first overall pick in this summer's NBA Draft. But the Philadelphia 76ers (via Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding) may already have their minds made up.

That's not much, and it isn't exacly a surprise. Simmons has been widely projected as the best prospect in his draft class for quite some time, and the Sixers (even after a front office regime change that involved Sam Hinkie leaving town) have historically taken the best player available at their draft position.

But there's another very strong reason that the Sixers may be leaning Simmons' way, and it has to do with head coach Brett Brown's relationship with Simmons that (via USA Today's Nicole Auerbach) essentially goes all the way back to when the 19-year-old was born.

There are other factors involved, of course. It's likely that Simmons will work out for and interview with both the Sixers and the Lakers, and his agents may attempt to get him to L.A. to pursue more lucrative sponsorship opportunities. It's also possible that Ingram is too impressive during pre-draft workouts for Philadelphia to pass up. 

But thanks to the long-standing relationship Simmons has with Brown, it seems like he and the Sixers might just be a perfect match.