NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Anfernee Simons, a consensus top-10 recruit in the 2018 high school class, is strongly considering entering his name in the upcoming NBA draft, he told ESPN this weekend.
Simons is currently doing a post-graduate year, or fifth season of high school, at IMG Academy in Florida. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard reclassified from his original class following his sophomore year.
Simons graduated high school last year, according to his prep school coach, John Mahoney, and will turn 19 in June, thus satisfying the NBA requirements to be eligible for the 2018 draft. he is currently No. 8 in the ESPN 100.
“Some people have brought it to my attention,” Simons told ESPN during an interview in Connecticut, where his team was participating in the National Prep Showcase. “As long as the opportunity is there, I will do it.
“I can see myself going to the NBA combine, if I have enough teams to actually invite me or recommend me for the combine and enough teams want to bring me for workouts. I really need to hit the weight room hard and get a little stronger.”
The word about Simons’ potential eligibility for the upcoming draft is spreading in NBA circles, and six teams sent scouts or executives to evaluate him in two games this weekend.
Coming off an injury to his shooting hand, which sidelined him for six weeks, Simons struggled with his offense at times at the tournament — “shaking the rust off” in his words. In the second game of the tournament against Scotland Campus, he was scoreless halfway through before exploding for 22 points in the second half.
If an NBA team decided to draft Simons, it would be with an eye on the long term, as there’s little chance he’ll be ready to contribute anything of substance in the immediate future. Still, that hasn’t prevented teams from picking players in his mold in the past, and it will be interesting to see how warmly he’s received if he indeed decides to enter his name in the draft come April.