Ben Simmons doesn’t look like the average point guard in the NBA.
At 6-foot-10, 230 pounds, the Philadelphia 76ers star is significantly larger than the majority of point guards in the league. Finding someone similar to get advice from can be difficult.
Magic Johnson, however, is one of them.
Johnson, who stands 6-foot-9, ran the point for the Lakers during the majority of his 13-year NBA career. And, ahead of the Lakers’ 143-120 loss to the 76ers on Sunday, Johnson revealed that Simmons wants to sit down with him to trade some “big guard” secrets.
As Johnson is currently the Lakers’ president, however, the Lakers, 76ers and the NBA would all need to sign off first.
“He reached out to me, not to me directly, to the Lakers to find out if we could get together this summer,” Johnson said, via Bill Oram of The Athletic. “I said, ‘Hey you have to clear it with the league.’ Everybody, the Sixers sign off, we sign off, the league sign off that there’s not nothing going on, but he wants to know how to play the position as a big guard. That’s fine, I will do that. But if everybody doesn’t sign off, then we can’t get together.”
Magic Johnson takes one last question and says Ben Simmons contacted the Lakers about getting together to learn from a fellow big guard. Magic said he’s game – as long as the league signs off.
Seems like a good time to mention Simmons is represented by Rich Paul and Klutch. pic.twitter.com/djgq9TOWNk
— Bill Oram (@billoram) February 10, 2019
On the surface, this seems like a very good move for Simmons — something that could help improve his game significantly. Simmons would only benefit from the knowledge the Hall of Famer could share with him.
Yet several concerns could stop that move quickly. Simmons is represented by Klutch Sports, which also represents LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Many could view Simmons meeting with Johnson as a potential to sway him to signing with the Lakers in the future.
Now nothing they have done so far has been against the rules, and it sounds like both Simmons and Johnson are acting in good faith — wanting to only talk about his game. But based on tampering concerns raised already, particularly surrounding how the Lakers went after Davis in recent weeks, it’s easy to understand why questions surrounding this potential meeting are valid.
Simmons has averaged 16.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and eight assists this season for the 76ers, his second in the league. He had eight points and seven assists in their win against the Lakers on Sunday, shooing just 3-of-13 from the field.
Regardless, Johnson said he has been very impressed with Simmons’ game.
“I love his game. I love his vision,” Johnson said. “I love also, he’s very, in terms of basketball IQ, very high basketball IQ. Look at him now, the East better watch out. This is a stacked team.”
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