Ben Simmons

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I'm fine with Ben Simmons working out with Magic

Andrew Porter
February 11, 2019 - 10:47 am

Magic Johnson said, before Sunday's Sixers-Lakers game in Philly, that Ben Simmons has reached out and wants to work with Magic in the offseason. Simmons confirmed that after the Sixers' blowout win

While it is really annoying, egotistical, and selfish for Magic to even bring this up, let me pour cold water on Philly fans freaking out, Lakers fans going nuts, and explain why the Simmons part of this isn't really a big deal. 

1. Ben Simmons is eligble for a five-year, $150 million-ish rookie scale max extension this summer, and he's not turning down $150 million. That means he'll be in Philadelphia through the 2024-25 season. 

"Oh yeah? What if he just requests a trade like Anthony Davis. He has the same agent, LeBron's guy, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports!"

Because that's working out for Davis so well! Also, the Pelicans are 25-32. Davis wouldn't have requested a trade a year and a half early if his team and franchise didn't stink. The Pelicans are an awful franchise and the team has under-achieved, which fueled his early trade request, not just his desire to play for LA. It was an unprecedented move and to expect Simmons to take that same route is ridculous. 

Also, even if he does request a trade a year and a half before he becomes an unrestricted free-agent—which won't happen, but I'll play along anyway—he'll still be a Sixer for five more seasons. 

2. NBA superstars don't stay in one city forever

Player mobility, which has existed forever, has never been more rampant in the NBA thanks in large part to LeBron. Most star players do not stay on one team forever. Philadelphia isn't the greatest city in the world and these players do not love Philadelphia in the same way that you and I do. So expecting Ben and Jo to stay with the Sixers forever and ever is incredibly naive. We are so lucky to get to watch these guys play together from, at least, 2017 to 2023 and anything more than that is gravy. Hopefully they win titles and want to stay together, but don't assume they'll both be here forever. 

3. Magic Johnson is the closest thing to Ben Simmons

From a basketball perspective, of course Simmons should try to learn from his greatest comp alive. It's like if Ben learns from Magic one summer, it will all of the sudden turn on a light in his head, "I want to play for LA now." He knows Magic is running the Lakers. It's public information. Los Angeles and the Lakers, more specifically, is an attractive destination for any young superstar athlete and I don't blame any of them. I just walked through slush and snow to get to work. 

So if Ben wants to play in LA in 2025 when he becomes a free-agent, when LeBron is 85 years old, he's going to play in LA and there's nothing we can do to stop him. But I'd wager a lot of money Ben hasn't made his 2025 decision yet. 

I explained this even further and gave my thoughts on the Tobias Harris acquisition, Jimmy Butler, and the playoffs in the latest episode of Pulse of Porter below.