As expected, Ben Simmons signed a five-year, $170 million contract extension on Tuesday to remain with the 76ers.
This comes as no surprise, as the team and Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, have been working out details since July 2. Simmons and Paul agreed to the contract on Monday. The maximum extension was originally believed to be $168.2 million. However, it’s actually higher than $170 million because of the new salary-cap projections.
“Ben Simmons is an important piece of our core and he is one of the NBA’s most dynamic and talented young players,” general manager Elton Brand said in a statement. “It was a priority for our organization that we finalize a contract extension with Ben this summer."
Brand noted that Simmons was the Rookie of the Year his first season and a All-Star in his second campaign. The team expects him to continue to grow and be successful for seasons to come.
“Ben positively impacts the game in so many ways,” Brand said, "and we look forward to continuing our championship pursuits with him as one of our leaders.”
The extension, which will begin during the 2020-21 season, is reportedly the richest contract for an Australian athlete. If Simmons makes an All-NBA team next season, the contract could be worth 20 percent more – bringing the projected total to about $204 million.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who reached out to congratulate me on the extension with the 76ers,” Simmons wrote on Twitter. “Philly means so much to me, and I’m already excited for next season.”
ESPN is reporting that there’s no option in the final year of his deal, and Simmons has a 15 percent trade kicker. The exact value of Simmons’ contract extension won’t be determined until the salary cap is set next year. That’s when the extension kicks in.
Whether Simmons gets the full bump if he makes an All-NBA team was a matter of negotiation between him and the Sixers, according to ESPN. Both sides could have agreed to pay different amounts depending on whether he makes the first-, second- or third-team All-NBA. Simmons reportedly could also trigger the super max by winning Most Valuable Player or Defensive Player of the Year next season, again contingent on the terms of the extension.
The specifics of Simmons’ super-max eligibility aren’t known right now, but they’re in his contract now.
"I want to say thank you
Simmons, who will turn 23 on Saturday, is a triple-double machine and one of the NBA’s young superstars, so extending his contract was an easy decision for the ownership group and front office.
He averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists this past season. Simmons also had 10 triple-doubles, increasing his career total to 22. He joins Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only NBA players with at least 10 triple-doubles in each of their first two seasons.
Simmons also joined Robertson and another Hall of Famer, Magic Johnson, as the only players to record at least 200 points, 100 rebounds and 100 assists through their first 13 playoff games. He has recorded 221 points, 115 rebounds and 101 assists in 13 playoff appearances. Robertson compiled 381 points, 167 rebounds, and 122 assists in his first 13 playoff games. Johnson had 209 points, 129 rebounds, and 125 assists.
Also on Tuesday, Simmons confirmed that he won’t play for Australian in the September’s FIBA World Cup in China.
“I will still be heading back home to Australia to host my camps as well as train and play with the Boomers in the upcoming Exhibition Games,” he wrote about next month’s exhibition games against Canada and Team USA in Melbourne and Perth. "I’m really excited about the talent we have on the Boomers squad, especially moving closer to 2020 where I will be honored and humbled to represent my country on the world’s biggest sporting stage at the Olympics in Tokyo.