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LSU freshman star Ben Simmons, a possible No. 1 overall NBA draft pick, plans to sign with the LeBron James-funded Klutch Sports agency for his pro representation, league sources told The Vertical.
Rich Paul of Klutch Sports will serve as Simmons' agent.
Simmons' college career ended when LSU decided against accepting an NIT bid on Sunday.
Simmons' older sister, Emily Bush, has been a marketing/branding employee of Klutch since 2014. She is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Her hiring came shortly after James and Paul started recruiting Simmons as a potential future client.
Within the basketball industry, it has been understood that Klutch has been the only real pro representation that Simmons has considered. Simmons, a native of Australia, has been the subject of a serious courtship by James, Paul and Klutch Sports since attending the LeBron James Skills Academy in 2014.
The arrangement for Klutch to represent Simmons has been in place for over a year, and agency papers to formalize the partnership are expected to be signed soon, sources said. Simmons will train in either Cleveland or Los Angeles in the predraft process, league sources said.
Simmons has openly discussed James' involvement in his life, telling Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears in December: "I just get a lot of advice from him. He's like a big brother to me."
Simmons and Duke's Brandon Ingram are considered the two most likely candidates to go No. 1 overall in the June NBA draft. LSU failed to make the NCAA tournament and withdrew from consideration to participate in the NIT on Sunday.
Simmons, a 6-foot-10 forward, averaged 19.2 points and 11.8 rebounds in a season full of criticism for his sometimes indifferent play.
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