Sources: Brandon Sampson to enter NBA Draft

Brandon Sampson is preparing for the NBA Draft in Florida, sources told Tiger Rag, and he plans to sign an agent, as first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

Sampson, a Baton Rouge native who just finished his junior season at LSU, has been working out in Miami with trainers and other players entering the draft. If he does hire an agent – likely Aaron Turner of Verus Management, the same agency that signed Antonio Blakeney and Tim Quarterman – Sampson would forfeit his final season of eligibility at LSU, foregoing his senior season to enter the draft.

In 85 career games, Sampson has averaged 7.9 points per game on 44 percent shooting from the field and 32 percent shooting from 3. His most productive season was in 2016-17, when he scored 11.6 points per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor and 33.9 percent from 3.

In 2017-18, Sampson’s total numbers dipped to 7.7 points per game, while playing fewer minutes (18.9, down from 27.5) and starting just nine games. He did improve from 3, knocking down 35 percent from behind the arc, while maintaining a 47.6 percentage from the field.

A top-50 recruit in the much-hyped 2016 signing class that featured Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney, Sampson has professional level tools with his smooth jumper and high-end athleticism. He threw down a number of highlight-worthy dunks throughout his time at LSU, but as a junior, an ankle injury suffered early in the season and a lack of consistency hurt his production.

“I think I did a poor job with Sampson,” head coach Will Wade said after the season. “I think when he came back from his injury, he probably didn’t have as good a feel for his role on the team. And he’s such a nice kid, he just tries to fit in a little bit. Certainly, somebody who, if you look at our roster, we got the most out of most of the kids. We probably didn’t get the most – we didn’t come anywhere near to getting the most out of him that we could have.

“That’s my fault. It’s not his fault. I could’ve handled that better and put him in better positions. That’s what we’re going to focus on moving forward, because he’s a very talented player, and he’s shown he can make plays. We’ve got to bring that out of him.”

It appears they will not get that chance.

Brandon Sampson career stats

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Cody Worsham

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