On Monday, July 15th, 2019 starting point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons, received the contract extension that he was looking for. His agent, Rich Paul, reported that both sides agreed to a five year $170 million maximum contract extension.
The 76ers and Simmons had to finalize the deal before mid October if they wanted to extend his rookie contract. Philadelphia’s general manger, Elton Brand, and agent, Paul, decided it was in both sides’ interest to complete the maximum contract extension now to ensure that the 76ers have their core players locked in for the next several years.
Other Core Players Signed to Big Contracts:
The largest contract the Philadelphia 76ers has at the moment belongs to Tobias Harris. During this off-season, he signed a five year $170 million deal. All Star center, Joel Embiid, agreed to a five year $150 million contract last year. Just recently long time veteran formerly of the Boston Celtics, Al Horford, came to terms on a four year $109 million agreement with the 76ers.
Simmons has a unique style of play that has made him so valuable to the Philadelphia 76ers throughout his young career. He runs the offense well and has been known to be an outstanding distributor of the basketball. By finding his teammates in excellent scoring situations he has done a great job of racking up assists. He averaged 7.7 assists last season. Simmons is a spectacular rebounder. He can pull down just under 10 rebounds a game at the guard position which is a nice feature of his game. Last season he averaged 8.8 boards per game.
He is a big time scorer for his basketball team. He is one of the best at finishing around the rim, and he has the ability to create his own baskets. The 2017-2018 NBA Rookie of the Year averaged 16.9 points per game last season. One part of his game that needs work is his shooting. He is constantly criticized for not being able to shoot the ball especially from 3 point range. In fact, he has yet to make a three point shot in the NBA as he is 0-17 from downtown. Hopefully, he will develop an efficient jump shot that will take his game to a new level.
Career Regular Season Statistics:
“I think I want to work on everything and continue to let my game grow,” says Simmons. “I think the one thing I got a lot better at this season was leadership.”
“I don’t think it’s taking shots just to take them,” explained Simmons.“I think it’s just being aggressive and doing my job. I don’t think it’s any certain shot. But when you give me the ball, I’m able to make plays.”
“Everybody was trying to figure out why I was guarding him at the 3-point line, but it was really because he hit two of them,” teammate Tobias Harris stated after a workout with Simmons. “When I dared him to shoot two of them, he hit two in a row. That’s why I was there. He’s made big improvements on his game. His jump shot is looking really good and he has the confidence to shoot.”
“I was excited,” says Simmons. “It’s been a while since I had a moment where I felt that I deserved it in terms of not just being an All-Star but solidifying myself in the league and letting people know I’m here.”
“My goal was to prove that I was the No. 1 player,” replied Simmons. “I did it in college. I did it in high school. And you start at the bottom once you come to the league.”
“The darkest day was the day I hurt myself,” exclaimed Simmons. “I had a lot of those days where I was just down just knowing how long I’d been wanting to play in the league, and then you get hurt. You get delayed by a year, a season. And then you have to go back through the summer and get ready again.”
“There was pressure being Ben Simmons and the No. 1 pick. Will he get to an All-Star level? I actually was on the court when he got hurt in training camp,” says Elton Brand who is the 76er’s general manager. “But the one thing I saw was his work ethic. He’s a worker, loves basketball and loves the game, so I knew he’d get through that tough time.”
“There was noise in the marketplace about his shot. There was noise about his free throws. I’ve known the spirit of the Australian and the toughness and the make-ship. Ben Simmons was smart enough and strong enough just to go play the game,” says head coach Brett Brown.
“Once I had that injury, a lot of people forgot about me,” Simmons explained. “Another No. 1 pick comes in. You have to build yourself up again. And for me, I wanted to prove myself again.”
“To Ben’s credit, he hasn’t wavered from the work from summer until now, and everything we do is focused on the long term,” Ben’s brother Liam Simmons said. “Our saying is, ‘Let’s chop the tree every day. Let’s get better today.’ Some of the drills might feel mundane and basic, but we work enthusiastically with the understanding that in 12 months, three years, a career, all those days, all those little swings of the ax will add up and Ben will find himself in a great place.”