July 02, 2019
The Elton Brand-run Sixers don't seem afraid of spending money on tall basketball players.
Continuing a busy week, the team reportedly offered Ben Simmons a full five-year, $170 million max contract on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski:
Under new salary cap projections, Ben Simmons' maximum contract total has crept slightly higher: $170M. https://t.co/44s3FLz1rf— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2019
The news isn't terribly surprising, considering the team has made it clear time and time again that Simmons is regarded as a foundational piece, with respect to the franchise's future.
When free agency began Sunday evening, the first report about anything Sixers related wasn't even a report about a free agent. It was a tweet from Wojnarowski saying discussions about an extension between the Sixers and Simmons' camp had begun.
Simmons' current rookie contract has one year left after the team picked up his fourth-year option last October.
Whether Simmons' skillset is actually worth more than $30 million per year will be debated, and PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck will dive deeper into that question, and more, later on. But the Sixers didn't really have much of a choice, if they wanted to retain one of the most electrifying young talents in the league, other than to pay the man.
Once the contract is eventually agreed upon, which seems at this point to be a mere formality, Simmons, who is 22 years old and turns 23 later this month, will be making more money per year than teammate and fellow foundational piece Joel Embiid, who is 25 years old. Embiid signed his current deal before the 2018-19 season for five years and $147.7 million.
The Sixers also, of course, just signed Tobias Harris, who is 26 years old and turns 27 later this month, to a five-year, $180 million contract and added Al Horford on a four-year deal with $97 million guaranteed.