Purple and gold seem to suit Ben Simmons well.
The 6-foot-10 forward has adorned the color combination ever since he arrived in America, establishing himself as the premier high school player in the nation during his time with Monteverde Academy then excelling during his lone season at Louisiana State.
The only way he will continue to carry purple and gold on his uniform is if Philadelphia passes on him with the first overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft.
All indications from the 76ers point to Simmons being the top selection, especially following the rumors surfacing about the team shopping Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel — a promising combination of power forwards — placing calls to approximately half the league about the pair.
Simmons is a nearly flawless prospect, as he can comfortably attack the basket, finish at the rim with either hand and possesses an elite passing ability.
During his lone season with the Tigers, the Australian native put up numbers simply unmatched throughout college basketball, as he averaged 19.2 points on 56 percent shooting from the field to go along with 11.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
The 19-year-old was the only player in the nation, and the first since 1986, to average 19 points, 11 rebounds and more than four assists during the 2015-16 campaign.
Only his efforts led to just a 19-14 season for LSU and an 11-7 record in conference play.
Even while playing with inferior teammates, Simmons managed to display his exceptional passing ability.
Simmons ranked fifth in the SEC in assists and he was responsible for 27.4 percent of the team’s total assists when he was on the floor.
The first 15 minutes of the NBA Draft on June 23rd will represent the beginning of a new era for Philadelphia basketball.
Gone are the days of the process, a deliberate effort to throw away games in an attempt to land a superstar.
The team has parted ways with general manager Sam Hinkie and brought in Bryan Colangelo, the 2007 NBA Executive of the Year, in an effort to turnaround a team that has won just 47 games during the past three seasons.
The critical decision facing Colangelo is drafting Simmons or former Duke standout Brandon Ingram.
At each level of his career, Ingram has been successful, leading Kinston High School to four consecutive state championships in North Carolina and carried the Blue Devils to an appearances in the Sweet 16 a year ago.
Ingram is a much more polished scorer, as he averaged 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.4 blocks. Unlike Simmons, he possesses an elite long range shooting touch, as he converted 41.5 percent of his attempts from 3-point range and knocked down 80 shots from beyond the arc as a freshman.
Simmons attempted just three shots from 3-point range during his 33 appearances with LSU.
Only there is precedent for selecting a player with a seemingly limited outside shot, but another elite skill.
The Spurs helped Leonard tap into his massive potential as a defender, as he has been named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year each of the past two seasons, and his dedication to improve his shooting paid huge dividends last season.
Leonard secured his first career All-Star selection as he averaged a career-high 21.1 points per game and shot 44.3 percent from 3-point range, the fourth highest percentage in the league last season.
Opponents routinely left Simmons alone on the perimeter, daring him to shoot the ball.
Simmons wouldn’t bite, as he didn’t possess the confidence in his shot, a trait that can be fixed.
By working extensively with Spurs shooting coach Chip Engelland, Leonard transformed his game to become a scoring threat from anywhere on the floor.
Numerous players have completely revamped their shot since entering the NBA, including Stephen Curry, the MVP in each of the past two seasons.
A 6-foot-10 player with the passing ability of Simmons rarely enters the NBA. Passing on him because of his flaws would be a mistake for Philadelphia.