The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly made a commitment to multiple pieces of their young core on Monday.
According to Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice, Philadelphia exercised the fourth-year contract option for point guard Ben Simmons, the fourth-year contract option for forward Dario Saric and the third-year contract option for point guard Markelle Fultz.
Steve Dewald of USA Today's Sixers Wire noted Simmons will be eligible for a contract extension this coming offseason after this move. "Barring an unforeseen change, Simmons is a lock to receive a new contract that is on par with Joel Embiid's $148 million deal from last year," he wrote.
The 22-year-old was the Rookie of the Year in 2017-18 behind 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals a night. While there are concerns about his shooting ability, he has demonstrated the versatility to impact the game in a number of ways and has the potential to become one of the best players in the league for a decade or more.
There are also worries about Fultz's shooting ability after he was the No. 1 draft pick in 2017 and played just 14 games as a rookie. However, he hit 50 percent of his triples in his first six games this season and is clearly part of the team's long-term plans after it used the top overall pick on him.
As for Saric, he is just 24 years old and can stretch the floor and battle for rebounds as a matchup problem in the frontcourt. He averaged 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting 39.3 percent from deep last season.
The 76ers are primed to compete with the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and others for years in an Eastern Conference that no longer features LeBron James. Expect Simmons, Fultz and Saric to remain a critical part of those battles after these moves.