Sixers Reach Long-Term Max Agreement With Ben Simmons
For about a week now, an offer has been on the table for Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers. He knew it was coming after the team wasted no time doing a sign and trade with the Miami Heat, getting rid of Jimmy Butler. Many speculated that the Sixers prioritized Tobias Harris over Butler. However, that was not the case.
Ben Simmons' pending offer had a lot to do with Butler's departure. As the former Sixers playoff hero had eyes for Miami for quite some time now, the Sixers knew they had to find a backup plan, while also locking in Simmons long-term.
With the offer being on the table for quite some time now, Simmons was expected to ink the deal sooner than later. Finally, Simmons will agree to the max deal. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Simmons' deal will be a five-year contract worth $170 million. Now, the Sixers' young starting core is signed on for 2019 and beyond.
Last year, Simmons wrapped up his second season with the Sixers after being awarded as Rookie of the Year in 2017. His Sophomore effort was a decent one as Simmons was voted into the All-Star game. He wrapped up the regular season by appearing in 79 games, averaging just under 35 minutes-per-game.
Similar to his rookie season, Simmons remained impressive defensively and offensively at times. Unfortunately, the criticism for his lack of shooting did not slow down. Once again, Simmons was hesitant about utilizing his jump shot and at times, it became a problem for the Sixers half-court offense.
Although he vowed to improve his shooting during last year's offseason, not much has changed about Simmons' game. This year, he made the same commitment, but this time around, he might be more serious.
According to Simmons' Sixers teammate Tobias Harris, the young guard's game looks much improved -- even in the areas where we least expect it. Obviously, Simmons will have to show everybody in realtime when the season rolls around, but the Sixers definitely seem confident in the upgrades. After all, they are investing $170 million into Simmons.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN. You can follow Justin on Twitter: @JGrasso_