PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Elton Brand announced today that the team and Ben Simmons have agreed to a contract extension. The new contract extends Simmons through the 2024-25 campaign.
“Ben Simmons is an important piece of our core and he is one of the NBA’s most dynamic and talented young players,” Brand said. “It was a priority for our organization that we finalize a contract extension with Ben this summer. He was Rookie of the Year in his first season, an All-Star in his second and we expect him to continue grow and succeed for seasons to come. Ben positively impacts the game in so many ways and we look forward to continuing our championship pursuits with him as one of our leaders.”
One of our leaders.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) July 16, 2019
This past season, Simmons averaged career highs in points (16.9) and rebounds (8.8) to go along with 7.7 (sixth in the NBA) assists and 1.4 steals per game en route to his first career All-Star Game selection. Russell Westbrook was the only other player in the league, other than Simmons, to hold such averages during in 2018-19. The second-year pro also posted 10 triple-doubles, the third-most in the league, as well as a career-high 42 double-doubles.
For his career, Simmons has appeared in 160 games (all starts) over two seasons with Philadelphia, posting 16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.6 steals in 33.9 minutes per game. Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson is the only other player in NBA history to total as many points, rebounds and assists as Simmons has through his first two seasons. Further, Simmons has posted 600-or-more assists in both of his NBA campaigns, making him the eighth player in league history to notch at least 600 assists in each of his first two seasons in the league. Simmons posted his 20th career triple-double in his 129th career game, making him the second-fastest player to reach 20, behind only Robertson who did so in 45 games. His 22 career triple-doubles are tied for the sixth-most among active NBA players.
Simmons has helped lead the 76ers to consecutive 50-plus win seasons for the first time since doing so in seven straight from 1979-86, when the team featured such Hall of Famers as Julius Erving and Maurice Cheeks. Philadelphia has reached the second round of the NBA Playoffs in each of the last two postseasons, marking the first time the team has done so since 1999-2001, including an appearance in the 2001 NBA Finals.
Originally selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons played one collegiate season at LSU. There, the Melbourne, Australia native averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game en route to a First Team All-SEC selection and SEC Freshman of the Year honors.
Report: Pau Gasol to join Trail Blazers
Free agent center Pau Gasol has agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Free agent Pau Gasol has agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 24, 2019
Gasol, 39, who was limited to just 30 games last season because of a variety of injuries, has career averages of 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds over 17 NBA seasons.
Report: Furkan Korkmaz returning to 76ers
Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, agent Mike Lindeman of Excel Sports tells ESPN.
Korkmaz, 21, brings back a rotational forward with the ability to spread the floor with his shooting. The loss of JJ Redick in free agency – and Kyle Korver’s decision to choose Milwaukee over Philadelphia – brought some increased urgency to keep Korkmaz on the Sixers roster.
The 21-year-old Korkmaz, who was the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.1 minutes last season.
Report: Kevin Love to withdraw from World Cup
Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is the latest player expected to withdraw from Team USA’s training camp for the FIBA World Cup, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Sources: Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love is expected to withdraw from Team USA’s training camp for World Cup. Toronto Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry remains committed on USA roster and is expected to be recovered from thumb surgery and return midway through camp in L.A.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 24, 2019
This news comes just one day after Damian Lillard reportedly withdrew from the World Cup. Love, who played in just 22 games last season because of a shoulder injury, averaged 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds in 2018-19.
During the previous two weeks, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum reportedly decided not to compete in the World Cup this year.
Although the guard ranks will be somewhat depleted of NBA stars, Team USA continues to have a deep pool of players available.
Team USA still has strong blend of youthful players and veterans; this summer’s training camp will provide platform for emerging young players such as Donovan Mitchell, De’Aaron Fox, Jayson Tatum, Kyle Kuzma and Myles Turner, with gritty vets like Lowry, PJ Tucker and Thad Young. https://t.co/b8T16mdn8G
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 24, 2019
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