All eyes have been on Ben Simmons out of Louisiana State University, who has been projected as the number one NBA prospect in the NCAA. NBA scouts have paid close attention to the versatile forward, who averaged 19 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists in his freshman year at LSU.
Simmons has impressed the likes of NBA scouts and basketball fans alike, yet that was still not enough for LSU to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. It was a no brainer that Simmons would declare for the draft after his freshman year, but Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported the official news of Simmons’ intentions to enter the NBA:
Hardly earth-shattering — Ben Simmons told ESPN he is headed to the NBA: https://t.co/kWpTDZOF4P
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 21, 2016
Simmons has been the consensus number one prospect all year long, but Duke’s Brandon Ingram is not far behind. If Ingram impresses NBA brass in the tournament, his draft stock could rise prior to the NBA Draft.
A similar situation unfolded last season, when Duke’s Jahlil Okafor was the consensus number one prospect all season, until Karl Anthony-Towns, out of Kentucky, showed his potential in the NCAA tournament.
It will be interesting to see where Simmons lands in the NBA Draft. Currently the Philadelphia 76ers have the NBA’s worst record and have the best shot of landing the No. 1 overall pick.
Another potential landing spot for Simmons could be the Los Angeles Lakers, who have the NBA’s second worst record and the second best chance to land the No. 1 overall pick. Simmons played high school ball with Lakers’ point guard, D’Angelo Russell, and the two players have already expressed interest in a reunion in Los Angeles.
Only time will tell where Simmons lands. The 2016 NBA Draft will be on June 23 in Brooklyn, New York.