That has left questions about Ben Simmons, who hasn’t always fit well with Embiid.
But Philadelphia appears ready to put those questions to rest.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Philadelphia has offered a five-year, $168M maximum contract extension to Ben Simmons and the Sixers and agent Rich Paul are expected to work through the details toward an eventual agreement, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2019
The exact amount won’t be determined until the salary cap is set next year, but a a regular max extension projects to be worth about $170 million over five years.
That’s based on a starting salary at 25% of the cap. But if Simmons makes an All-NBA team next season, he’d be eligible for a starting salary up to 30% of the cap – which would lift his projected max to abut $204 million over five years.
What would happen if Simmons qualifies for the super-max will be negotiated into the extension this offseason then applied as it takes effect in 2020. The 76ers can pay Simmons different amounts depending whether he makes the All-NBA first, second or third team. They can also include a player option and/or a trade kicker.
So, there are still parameters to negotiate.
But players practically never reject max rookie-scale contract extensions. Expect this to get done.
Simmons is young (22) and talented. His all-around game – especially open-court play – is impressive. But he must develop his jumper. He’s too much of a liability, especially deep in the playoffs, without one.
With Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Josh Richardson, the 76ers are trying to surround Embiid and Simmons with players who complement the duo. That’ll help. Still, it’s difficult to see Philadelphia taking the next step without Simmons improving as an outside shooter.
The 76ers are prepared to bet big on him.