Ben Simmons-NBA Draft: Evaluating If He Should Declare Early

    Evaluating Ben Simmons and the 2016 NBA Draft. Should the star LSU Tiger declare early or return to college for another year?

    February 10, 2016

    Should Ben Simmons declare early for the 2016 NBA Draft? We take a look here.

    Every college basketball player alive tells the same lie.

    They claim they haven’t thought about whether or not to leave college early for the NBA. They just are focused on the next game.

    Yeah, right.

    Not every player has the luxury of even thinking about the NBA option. In fact, most don’t. But there are a few who can seriously consider making the jump early.

    Sometimes there isn’t much of a question. Usually it’s a tough decision. Campus Insiders looks at some of the college basketball stars who face such a decision in their very near future.

    Player: Ben Simmons

    School: LSU
    Year: Freshman
    Position: Forward
    Height: 6-10
    Weight: 240 pounds

    The Skinny On Simmons

    If you don’t know who Ben Simmons is, you haven’t been watching college basketball this season. Simmons came to LSU as the top-ranked recruit in the country, a kid with a man’s body and an NBA-ready game. The Australian won just about every award out there as a high school senior, and he came to LSU with a huge target on his back. Instead of wilting under the pressure, he has blossomed. The fact he’s left-handed makes him a perfect shot blocker, and his long arms and timing makes him a good defender. He also can handle the ball, and he has the skills of a point guard in the open court. Simmons has some flaws in his game, such as a shaky jumper, but it can be polished with time.

    Why Simmons Should Stay

    He has great character and maturity, but deciding to jump to the NBA is a huge decision. Some players are ready to be out on their own, and although he likely is that kind of guy, if he doesn’t feel like he’s ready for the grind of the NBA or the mental stress of being in the spotlight as a pro superstar, he should return to school. Simmons is going to be the No. 1 overall pick whether he leaves this year or next, and he could improve his jumper in a college setting without all the pressure that comes with cashing an NBA paycheck.

    Why Simmons Should Go

    C’mon. Where is he going to improve his game more: By limiting himself to 20 hours a week of practice before heading off to geometry 202 or by being coached in the finest facilities by the best basketball people in the world 24/7? The risk of injury is always part of the equation, and Simmons wants to start getting paid as soon as possible, especially considering the limited shelf life of an athlete. He has already shown his skills in some camps vs. the likes of James Harden and Anthony Davis, and there’s no question he would already be in the NBA if it wasn’t for the age restriction. He’s as much of a can’t miss player, and if he can’t improve his stock by staying in school, why bother?

    Bottom Line On Ben Simmons

    See ya, Simmons. Everyone knows Simmons is just biding his time at LSU, and he will likely make his announcement shortly after the end of the season. Even with him, LSU isn’t a threat to win a national championship this season, and the Tigers won’t be next year, either. This is a kid who is going to be a superstar in the NBA, and his marketing potential is unlimited. There’s a reason LSU games are suddenly on national television this season, and Simmons is smart enough to know that he can be the next Kevin Durant or LeBron James if he continues to develop. Get ready, everyone. Simmons is ready to make his presence felt for a long time.

    MORE: 3 Things To Know About LSU’s 2016 Recruiting Class


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