Brand on Simmons: ‘He is one of the NBA’s most dynamic and talented young players’

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.

76ers’ GM on Shayok: ‘Marial is a natural-born scorer’

Philadelphia 76ers have signed Marial Shayok to a two-way contract, the team announced today.

In two games with the 76ers Summer League team, who are currently playing in the Las Vegas Summer League, Shayok is averaging 16.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, and 1.5 apg.

“Marial is a natural-born scorer who is committed to being a tough defender,” Brand said. “He’s a great person and a talented basketball player who can stretch the floor and knock down the three-point shot. We look forward to growing Marial within our programs in both Philadelphia and Delaware.”

A native of Ottawa, Shayok led Iowa State in scoring as a senior with 18.7 points per game, en route to All-Big 12 First Team honors.

As a Cyclone, he notched career highs in scoring, rebounding (4.9), assists (2.0), field-goal percentage (.496) and three-point percentage (.386), while leading Iowa State to a 23-12 regular season record. Shayok would then carry Iowa State to the Big 12 Tournament title, where he was named MVP, and a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.


76ers GM Brand: ‘In Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, we have two of the NBA’s top 20 players’

Happy times in Philadelphia as the 76ers acquired All-Star Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton from Minnesota in exchange for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick.

With the move, the 76ers have put themselves in position to contend for an NBA title this year and beyond.

76ers GM Elton Brand believes adding Butler to what they have with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons gives Philadelphia a legitimate chance against the top teams in the NBA:

“We have a championship window that’s centered around the continued progression of our talented young core, as well as our ability to add elite players who elevate our program,” Brand said. “In Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, we have two of the NBA’s top 20 players. Now, we’ve added a third top-20 player in Jimmy Butler, who is one of the NBA’s very best on both ends of the floor. This move further strengthens our pursuit of a championship and gives us a formidable combination to take on the league’s top teams.”

Butler, who has been selected an NBA All-Star in each of the past four seasons, has appeared in 10 games (all starts) this season with Minnesota, averaging 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals (third in the NBA) in 36.1 minutes per game.

Regarding Simmons and Embiid being top 20 players in the NBA, Embiid is a top 20 player. He is an early season MVP candidate averaging 27.7 ppg and 13.9 rpg. At times, he has been unstoppable. Embiid has two 40-pont games in this young season

Concerning Simmons, he has top 20 ability, but I don’t think he is a top 20 player just yet. However, if the 2017 Rookie of the Year can develop a jump shot or something close to it, he will be a legit top 20 player as well.

No matter how you view Embiid and Simmons, it is safe to say that the 76ers have two young players that could be superstars for years to come.