In doing their due diligence ahead of the 2018 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers are bringing in all kinds of prospects. One of the most interesting stories in the draft is that of guard Anfernee Simons of IMG Academy.
Simons was a top high school recruit who reclassified, doing one last year at IMG Academy as opposed to going to college. As such, Simons isn’t as well-known as other prospects since he didn’t play on the college stage.
Additionally, there are also questions about level of competition and how much better he got in this past year. Following his pre-draft workout, Simons said he doesn’t feel like players who went to college have an advantage over him:
“To me, that’s not the case. IMG is kind of like a college year. I was able to get stronger in the weight room and stuff, so I feel like that helped me as well.”
Temas have obviously questioned Simons about his decision to forego college and he expressed confidence in his ability to make an immediate impact:
“They ask me what my thought process was, but I tell them I’m confident in myself and that I’m able to make the jump. I’ve been working for this my whole life. … I have the ultimate confidence in myself. I feel like I’m able to come in, hold my own and play well.”
Simons is certainly an intriguing prospect. He is an outstanding athlete with great scoring potential thanks to his ballhandling and shooting ability. Additionally, standing 6’3 with a 6’9 wingspan, he has excellent defensive potential as well.
There are some concerns, such as having a low release on his jumper, struggling to finish at the rim, and ability to create for others consistently. But Simons believes he will thrive at the NBA level and the Lakers got a close look to see if he’s the right fit for this growing young core.
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