NBA News: Boston Celtics set sights on Aussie Ben Simmons

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are among the NBA teams scouting Australian basketball sensation Ben Simmons of the LSU Tigers. Reuters/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)

The Boston Celtics are reportedly setting their sights on Australian basketball sensation Ben Simmons, who is expected by many to be a top three pick in next year’s NBA draft.

Simmons, who is currently playing at the NCAA for the Louisiana State University Tigers, has already drawn plenty of interests from NBA teams, including the Celtics. According to Mike Mazzeo of ESPN, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and assistant GM Mike Zarren are among the executives from different NBA teams who are present at the Barclays Centre, where Simmons put on a monster performance, scoring 21 points and 20 rebounds in a loss against Marquette.

“I’m just trying to win so my focus was on being aggressive, assertive,” Simmons said, reports the NY Daily News. “As soon as I got assertive, I got into a rhythm and felt comfortable.”

The Celtics owns Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected 2016 first overall draft pick thru the trade that brought veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to New York. With the way Brooklyn are slumping into the bottom of the standings with a 3-11 record, Boston has a great chance of landing Simmons come draft night in June.

According to Fox Sports, Simmons is the exact type of player the Celtics are waiting to build around. In his recent outings, Simmons is averaging nearly 20 points and 16 rebounds per game, while shooting 57.7 percent from the field.

LSU coach Johnny Jones, who opened his practices to NBA scouts from 28 teams in October, said Simmons is the “wild card” who can play multiple positions with his 6-foot-10 size, making him likeable to a young Lebron James.

“I think that’s a great opportunity for Ben and his hard work seemingly paying off,” Jones added.

Simmons, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, has the Celtics as his favourite NBA team, and it would be interesting to see the developments leading up to Draft night. If the Nets continue to play poor basketball in the entire NBA 2015-2016 season, it is almost certain that Boston could get their hands on Simmons.

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