The 76ers had the top pick for the first time since they drafted Allen Iverson in 1996. He led the Sixers to their last NBA finals appearance in 2001.
“Congratulations BenSimmons25. I know you’ll make all of us Philly fans proud!!” Iverson tweeted.
The Sixers haven’t won an NBA title since 1983.
Maybe Simmons can make the difference.
The 19-year-old Simmons averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists, the only SEC player ever to finish in the top five in all three categories. But the Tigers were only 19-14, failing to make the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m happy that the Sixers chose me,” he said at Barclays Center in New York. “It’s a great city and I’m looking forward to getting to Philly.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this post)