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76ers Rumors: Ben Simmons' Agent Rich Paul Has Begun Contract Extension Talks

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2019

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons reacts during the second half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Philadelphia. Raptors won 101-96. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers and Rich Paul, the agent for Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, have reportedly started discussions about a contract extension for the 2019 NBA All-Star selection.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the update Sunday.

Simmons has one guaranteed season left on his four-year, $26.6 million rookie contract with the 76ers, per Spotrac. The team can extended a $10.5 million qualifying offer to him before next offseason to make him a restricted free agent should no extension be in place.

It appears Philly is working quickly to ensure that won't be the case, though.

Simmons averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.4 assists while shooting 56.3 percent from the field across 79 appearances for the Sixers during the 2018-19 campaign. He ranked 17th among qualified NBA point guards in ESPN's Real Plus-Minus.

The 22-year-old Australia native reiterated his love for Philadelphia after the team was booed during a Game 1 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the playoffs.

"It's Philly! That's what's going to happen," Simmons told reporters. "I love it, that's how Philly is. If you're not playing well, they're going to let you know. I love being here, I love the fans here. 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."

The 76ers won the next four games to eliminate the Nets, but they were knocked out of the postseason in the second round by the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors in seven games.

Simmons must still develop an outside shot to maximize his potential—he's attempted just 17 threes across two NBA seasons and missed them all—but he's otherwise one of the league's most well-rounded statistical producers and a key piece of the Sixers' core.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia is just starting an important summer where it might be forced to replace key free agents Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and JJ Redick. So it might be some time before the front office can shift its main focus toward the Simmons extension talks despite trying to get an early start on the process.

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