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Ben Simmons declares for the 2016 NBA Draft like everyone expected

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The LSU star is expected to be one of the top two picks.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

LSU freshman Ben Simmons has told ESPN that he plans on hiring an agent and entering the 2016 NBA Draft. Last week it was reported by Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski that Simmons intends on signing with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, the LeBron James-funded sports agency. Simmons' older sister, Emily Bush, has been an employee of Klutch Sports since 2014.

Simmons averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists for LSU this season. The Tigers, however, went just 19-14 and were eliminated early on in the SEC Tournament. The team missed out on the NCAA Tournament and declined an invitation to the NIT. Simmons was also declared ineligible for the Wooden Award -- handed annually to the most outstanding player in the country -- due to poor grades.

Simmons is expected to be one of the top two picks of the 2016 NBA Draft. Both Draft Express and our own Ricky O'Donell have him going No. 2 overall behind Duke small forward Brandon Ingram.

If Simmons does go in the top three, he'll join Nerlens Noel as the only two players to do so after missing out on the NCAA Tournament the year before.