PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram? It’s been the debate surrounding the No. 1 overall pick in June 23rd’s NBA Draft.
If you ask Moon Township, Pennsylvania native and current Kentucky Wildcats head coach who the Philadelphia 76ers should take with the first overall pick, he wouldn’t pick Simmons or Ingram.
Calipari says the Sixers should take Kentucky guard Jamal Murray.
“What does Philadelphia need more than anything else?” Calipari said on an ESPN college basketball podcast. “To make shots and guard play. That’s what they need. I would tell you — Again, I am biased? Yeah. I want my guy. Again, [Murray] can play multiple positions. He physically can step in that league and play right away. He can be your point [guard]. He can be your off [guard]. He can score in bunches. Look, even if you’re a point guard in that league you gotta score points. And, he’s 6’5” and the game is going to position-less players. How about, you watch Golden State and who really is their point guard? Whoever has it.
“When you look at Jamal from the beginning of the year to the end, he’s not even the same player. Now let’s keep going on the same path. In two years what does he look like?”
Kentucky has had four No. 1 overall picks in the last eight years. They’ve all had NBA success.
“How did Derrick Rose do? How did John Wall do?” Calipari asked. “How did Anthony Davis do? How has Karl [Anthony] Towns done? So if you’re gonna take the number one pick, probably take it from our program.”
Murray, 19, averaged 20 points per game as a freshman at Kentucky, making 3.1 three’s per game, shooting 40.8-percent from downtown. Murray certainly does not lack confidence.
“I believe I’m the best player in the draft, but every team needs what they need,” Murray said after the workout via ESPN.com.
In his first year in the NBA, Booker was one of the league’s best rookies averaging almost 14 points per game in about 28 minutes per game.