Is Brandon Ingram a better fit for the Sixers than Ben Simmons?

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Earlier this week, we profiled LSU Power Forward and probable top pick, Ben Simmons. Some may say that Duke’s Brandon Ingram is nearly as enticing.  It is a virtual lock that if the Sixers landed the first selection in the upcoming NBA draft, the pick would be Simmons. If they fail to land that coveted slot, Brandon Ingram would not be a bad consolation prize. Here’s the scouting report for the Duke forward.

 

Profile:
Brandon Ingram
6’ 9” 195 lbs
Projected NBA Pick: Top 3

Strengths:
Ingram is long. Really long. In addition to his prototypical height, he possesses an elite wingspan (7’3”).  Like Simmons, he has the favorable combination of length and scoring ability; however Ingram may actually hold the higher scoring potential. His stroke is smooth, and is probably his best quality. He can sink open jumpers from all over the court and with his length, he can also shoot over smaller defenders. Furthermore his shot is advanced enough to easily transition to the NBA three-point line.

After he hits a couple of threes and draws the defense out, he has the ability to get to the rim and convert because of his unexpected speed and craftiness. Mix his finishing ability with his shot and he can grow into a premier Kevin Durant-like scorer at the next level.

Although he is not necessarily a point forward like Simmons, Ingram can handle the ball surprisingly well.  He plays pretty unselfishly even with his ability to score himself. Now he is not going to put up 8 or 9 assists a game but he will find the open teammate.

Weaknesses:
Yes, he is vertically gifted with his height and wingspan, but he is very thin. At 195 lbs and with that length, there’s a chance he gets pushed around at the next level. Luckily, putting on weight is usually not a big problem for new NBA players, especially when they need to. Due to his slender stature, his defense is somewhat lacking. As he grows with the game and puts on some muscle, his length could help him mature into a pretty solid, but at this moment at Duke, he has some problems covering opponents.

Finally, similar to Simmons, Ingram is not too terribly gifted with athleticism. He is certainly crafty and his jumper makes up for it a tad, but he will definitely not be producing any Nerlens Noel type highlight blocks anytime soon.

 

Fit With Sixers:
The Sixers certainly need a lot of different things and their log jammed front court presents some problems. Joel Embiid needs to show what he has, so GM Sam Hinkie can clear up that crowded position yet even with those issues, Brandon Ingram would be welcomed into the Sixers fold with open arms. Sure he may not be the generational talent that Simmons may be, but he has some qualities that could turn him into a perennial All-Star. If the Sixers chose to keep Okafor, Ingram may be the best pick in the draft. There is nothing better for a low post scoring threat than someone who can consistently knock down jumpers. It draws the defense out, relieving Okafor of some double teams. The combination of the two Blue Devils could give opposing NBA defenses headaches for years to come.

With his overall game, Ingram could be the face of the 76ers ultimately, which would not be a bad consolation prize for Simmons. With the selection of Ingram, the Sixers’ offense would benefit greatly, perhaps enough for the team to take the next step and begin to contend.

 

 

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