Article by Antwon “Smitty” Smith
The Philadelphia 76ers finally lock up their young star Ben Simmons as he get a 5-year/$170 million dollar max extension according to Shams Charaina of the athletic.
Simmons 22, was heading into the last year of his rookie deal (4 years/$26.6 million). He was the 1st overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft by the 76ers. Simmons missed his first season due to a foot injury, but ultimately won rookie of the year in 2017-2018 by posting 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.2 assists.
He made his first All-Star team last year after averaging 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists. Simmons would also finish 3rd in assists (610) and triple-doubles (10) last season. The big question is will Simmons improve his scoring and range that will ultimately take his game to another level. The Sixers signing him to a max extension gives indication that they have confidence he can take his game to the next level.
Simmons said, “I love being here, I love the fans here,” Simmons said of Philadelphia in April. “I wouldn’t want to be in a place where they didn’t really care or only showed up in the times we were doing well.”
Philadelphia also continues to put solid pieces around the third year guard. They have a young Joel Embiid to give them a solid foundation to build on. The re-signed Tobias Harris (5 years/$180 million) and brought in 13-year vet Al Horford to solidify their frontcourt.
The Sixers are expected to contend for an Eastern Conference crown in 2019-2020, so locking up their young stars in Embiid assures they are heading in the right direction.
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