76ers take Ben Simmons with No. 1 pick in NBA draft

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, left, greets Ben Simmons after announcing him as the top pick by the Philadelphia 76ers during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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NEW YORK (AP) -- The Philadelphia 76ers selected LSU freshman Ben Simmons with the No. 1 pick Thursday night as the NBA draft opened with three straight freshmen.

The 76ers grabbed the versatile 6-foot-10 forward from Australia who averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists to become the only player in SEC history to finish in the top five in all three categories.

He comes with some questions - he made only one 3-pointer - but too much potential for the 76ers to pass up with their first No. 1 pick since taking Allen Iverson 20 years ago.

The last No. 1 pick from LSU was Shaquille O'Neal - who will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame along with Iverson in September.

The Los Angeles Lakers, picking second for the second consecutive year, took Duke's Brandon Ingram, who averaged 17.3 points as the ACC freshman of the year.

The Boston Celtics then began a busy night by picking California forward Jaylen Brown. Boston has eight picks in the two-round draft, starting with one it acquired from Brooklyn in 2013 in the deal that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets.