What to Know
- Ben Simmons has agreed to a rookie max extension of $170 million over 5 years.
- The 22-year-old former number one pick earned his first All-Star berth last season.
While it felt inevitable, it is now official.
The Sixers have signed All-Star Ben Simmons to a rookie max contract extension for five years and $170 million, a team source confirms to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to report the deal.
While Simmons still has work to do on his jump shot and game as a whole, there was more risk in not getting this deal done. It was a no-brainer for both sides. For Simmons, it’s obvious: This is the most money for the most years he can possibly get. For the Sixers, it avoids the possibility of a major headache next offseason.
The Sixers could’ve let the season play out and let Simmons become a restricted free agent next summer, meaning they'd have the right of first refusal. Part of it is peace of mind for Simmons. He can play this season without that potential extension looming over him. It’s also peace of mind for the team. They know the cap situation and won’t have to answer constant questions about “why they don’t believe in Simmons” or something to that effect.
While you could certainly match any offer Simmons would get as a restricted free agent, it’s a super dangerous game to play. The Sixers are going to be right up against the cap for the foreseeable future with Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid and Al Horford all locked in. Another team could have had Simmons sign an offer sheet that’s for a shorter term — the shortest term a team can offer is two years — but for a higher salary. If you match that, it could mess up your cap plans and you’d also only have Simmons for two years. It's similar to what the Nets did with "poison pill" offer sheets to players like Tyler Johnson in the past. You also run the enormous risk of souring what’s been a good relationship between the player and the team.
Simmons, who will turn 23 later this month, was a first-time All-Star in 2018-19. It’s clear the Sixers view the Australia native as a franchise player for years to come – that’s the biggest reason this came together so quickly.