NC State sophomore Cedric Simmons is officially headed to the NBA, as the power forward/center was selected by New Orleans.
The Hornets chose Simmons with the No. 15 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, the 15th overall selection, and their first pick in the draft.
Simmons averaged 11.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks as a sophomore, earning honorable mention All-ACC honors. The 6-foot-9, 230-pound center was also named to the 2005-06 ACC All-Defensive Team.
Last year's No. 15 pick earned 1,217,800 in 2005-06 with a second-year salary of 1,309,100.
The Hornets finished last season with a 38-44 regular season record and missed the playoffs but improved greatly over the previous year mainly due to super point guard Chris Paul. Paul, the Hornets' first round pick in 2005, won NBA Rookie of the Year honors after averaging 16.1 points and 7.8 assists.
Also chosen in the first round by New Orleans was UCONN senior center Hilton Armstrong, picked at No. 12.