Ben Simmons will likely be the number one pick in the 2016 NBA Draft come June despite his Louisiana State Tigers not making the NCAA Tournament and choosing not to partake in any postseason events.
Simmons, who was recently disqualified from winning the Wooden Award reportedly due to his grade point average, is expected to get an endorsement shoe deal worth $100 million. He has picked the agency that will help him get the deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical:
Rich Paul of Klutch Sports will serve as Simmons’ agent.
According to Real GM, Rich Paul currently has 12 clients that are NBA players including LeBron James. The other 11 players are Eric Bledsoe, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Norris Cole, Montrezl Harrell, Cory Joseph, Kosta Koufos, Trey Lyles, Ben McLemore, Kevin Seraphin, Tristan Thompson, and John Wall.
Wojnarowski also notes that Emily Bush, Ben Simmons’ older sister has been working for Klutch Sports since 2014 as a marketing/branding employee. She was reportedly hired shortly after James and Paul began trying to land Simmons as a future client.
It is understood by many across the NBA that Simmons, a native of Australia, has only really considered Klutch Sports to represent him professionally.
As far as a potential shoe deal goes regarding Simmons, you have to remember that LeBron James and Nike agreed a lifetime contract in December. It is possible that James and Paul turn Simmons to Nike in my mind, because six of Paul’s clients are currently with Nike, including of course James.
In 33 games at LSU, Simmons averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. In SEC play, Simmons averaged 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. He and Brandon Ingram from Duke are rated by many as the two best players in the 2016 NBA Draft.
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