Ben Simmons
Courtesy of Christopher Hanewinckel, USA Today Sports

Projected by most to be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Ben Simmons is a hot commodity right now. As such, he’s reportedly close to signing what is being described as a “significant” endorsement deal with Nike.

Nike is always selective about which athletes are worthy of the swoosh logo. This should tell you something about how Simmons is being projected as an NBA prospect.

Currently the Philadelphia 76ers own the top selection in the draft. General manager Bryan Colangelo has already stated his intention to use the pick, rather than trade it away. He has also made it clear that Simmons is a top choice for the franchise.

During his single season at LSU, Simmons demonstrated plenty of natural ability and cultivated skill. He averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, two steals and 4.8 assists per game.

A rumor broke a while back that Simmons would prefer to land with the Los Angeles Lakers because he’d earn more money on a shoe deal. Colangelo never bought the rumor, though, and this news about a Nike endorsement forthcoming for the big man would seem to make it moot.

Jesse Reed
Managing Editor at Sportsnaut. Featured on Yardbarker and MSN.com, and formerly was a breaking news writer/NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.