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Report: Ben Simmons never said he wanted to be drafted by the Lakers, or any team in particular

We’re closing in on the 2016 NBA Draft, and while there’s still speculation about who will be taken first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, it appears that they’re leaning toward LSU’s Ben Simmons.

Simmons’ game has been compared to that of both Magic Johnson and LeBron James, which, while quite bold, says a lot about the expectations people have for this kid.

Shortly after the lottery, it was rumored that Simmons and his contingent preferred to have him play in the larger and more lucrative Los Angeles market with the Lakers. Philly’s Bryan Colangelo didn’t put any stock into those reports, and now Simmons’ camp is rebuffing them as well.

Associated Press

Associated Press

From Calkins Media’s Tom Moore:

But a source close to Simmons said Tuesday that the former LSU star “never said anything about L.A., a shoe deal, or wanting to play or sign anywhere.”

Simmons, who is closing in on a shoe endorsement deal with Nike, dazzled scouts with his 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds. 4.8 assists ,and 2 steals per game with the Tigers.

Even though there was some speculation that Duke’s Brandon Ingram could surpass him on draft boards, Simmons’ agent is confident that he’ll go first overall.

More from Moore:

Agent Rich Paul, who represents LeBron James, John Wall and others, “has been preparing for his client to go to Philadelphia from the moment the Sixers got the” top selection in the May 17 draft lottery, according to the source.

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