Ben Simmons is leaving LSU and declaring for the NBA Draft

CBS Sports can confirm reports of the inevitable: Ben Simmons’ time at LSU is done.

The National Freshman of the Year will head to the NBA after a season in which he averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals. The 6-foot-10 versatile forward from Melbourne, Australia, is considered a near-lock to be drafted first or second overall in June’s NBA Draft.

A report last week from The Vertical stated Simmons already had a handshake agreement lined up with an agent. What agent? LeBron James’ agent.

Now begins the official process of him moving on to the NBA. Because of his undeniable talent mixed his unusual choice to attend a school not considered to be a top-50 program, Simmons and LSU became one of the dominant story lines in college basketball in 2015-16.

[NORLANDER: One-and-none: The paradoxical legacy of Simmons]

LSU went 19-14 this season. It did not receive an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament, and in light of that, opted to decline any other invitations from postseason events.

Simmons’ career at LSU will certainly be remembered. He was a very fun player to watch, but the team was inconsistent and among the biggest letdowns in the sport this season. If Simmons is taken No. 1 in June, he’ll become the first player in the modern era of the NCAA Tournament to be selected No. 1 overall despite having never played in the Big Dance.

Ben Simmons’ LSU career was memorable, in something of an ironic way. (USATSI)


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