The Philadelphia 76ers and star point guard Ben Simmons agreed to a five-year, $170 million contract extension on Monday, according to the Athletic’s Shams Charania.
It’s the maximum contract that the Sixers could have possibly offered Simmons as he is still on his rookie deal. The 22-year-old was eligible to sign such a deal on Jul. 1.
The extension secures Simmons in Philadelphia until 2025. He is set to make $8.1 million in the final year of his original rookie deal during the 2019-20 season before the extension kicks in.
Had a deal not come this summer, Simmons would have had a $10.5 million qualifying offer for the 2020-21 season before becoming a restricted free agent.
Per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Simmons is projected to make $29.5 million in 2020-21, $31.59 million in 2021-22, $33.93 million in 2022-23, $36.27 million in 2023-24, and $38.61 million in 2024-25.
Simmons is coming off a second NBA season in which he garnered his first-ever All-Star nod, averaging 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game.
At 6-foot-10, he is built like a power forward but possesses the athleticism and skill set of a point guard, which is why the 76ers slated the youngster as the franchise’s floor general of the future after taking him with the first-overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft.
The Australian native is slowly developing up to those expectations, averaging 16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 7.9 assists over his first 160 career NBA games. Alongside Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and the now-departed Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick, Simmons helped the 76ers get to within a game of the Eastern Conference Finals last season.
Even with the organization reaching new heights following a miserable start to the decade, there were plenty of question marks surrounding Simmons’ worth.
His shooting ability from mid-range and beyond the arc has lagged which led many to believe that his offensive game will never get to that top tier.
He shot just 20.9-percent from mid-range last season. It gets even worse the farther you get from the basket as he’s only attempted 17 three-pointers over his first two seasons. He has yet to hit any of them. A jumpshot can be nurtured and improved, however.
Simmons already possesses the intangibles needed to star in the NBA and he has already shown that. If he continues to develop at this rate while adding that jumper, he could very well average a triple-double at some point during his career.