The Philadelphia 76ers officially announced the extension for Ben Simmons on Tuesday, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a five-year, $170M contract with no option in final year and a 15 percent trade kicker. Simmons’ contract extends through the 2024-25 campaign.
With the move, the 76ers have the following core players under contract until at least 2023:
Joel Embiid: 2023
Tobias Harris: 2024
Al Horford: 2023
This is the core that GM Elton Brand and the 76ers’ organization will go with in their quest for an NBA title, which will be led by Embiid and Simmons.
“Ben Simmons is an important piece of our core, and he is one of the NBA’s most dynamic and talented young players,” 76ers GM Elton Brand said. “It was a priority for our organization that we finalize a contract extension with Ben this summer. He was Rookie of the Year in his first season, an All-Star in his second and we expect him to continue to grow and succeed for seasons to come. Ben positively impacts the game in so many ways, and we look forward to continuing our championship pursuits with him as one of our leaders.”
Last season, Simmons, 22, averaged career highs in points (16.9) and rebounds (8.8) to go along with 7.7 (sixth in the NBA) assists and 1.4 steals per game en route to his first career All-Star Game selection. But he had his struggles in the playoffs, especially against the Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Simmons averaged 11.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, and 4.9 apg in that series. Those struggles are mainly because Simmons does not have a consistent jump shot.
If the 76ers want to take that next step, Simmons has to grow his game, which according to Tobias Harris, Simmons is working on this offseason.
“He’s made big improvements on his game; his jump shot is looking really good,” Harris said last week about Simmons. “He has the confidence to shoot it, and I just kept telling him there, ‘like, even in this workout when you are playing, have the confidence to shoot them and don’t get discouraged if you miss. This is where you build that type of confidence.’ So, it was a good sight to see how hard he has been working. He looks really good for a great year.”
If Simmons never develops a consistent jump shot, he will still have a lot of success in the NBA as evidenced by what we have seen thus far in his career.
However, if he grows his game, and develops a reliable perimeter game, he will be tough to guard, and Philadelphia should be able to take that next step as a team, which could be an NBA title.