Chris Szagola/Associated Press
“The league office is looking into whether any contact took place between Ben Simmons and the Los Angeles Lakers that violated NBA rules,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said Monday, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Johnson said Sunday that Simmons reached out to the Lakers to see if the two could get together in the summer, via Bill Oram of the Athletic:
Bill Oram @billoram
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. https://t.co/djgq9TOWNk
Philadelphia general manager Elton Brand said on 97.5 The Fanatic on Monday that this took place a month ago and he said no to the potential meetup, via ESPN.
Brand followed it up by noting this wasn’t a major issue, in a statement to Wojnarowski:
“No issue. I have a great relationship with Ben and Rich (Paul) and we expect him to be a Sixer for a long time. He has taken interest in chatting with some of the game’s all-time greats and we’re supportive. I had brief dialogue with Rob Pelinka who I’ve known for a long time, but nothing is planned. Our collective focus is on making a postseason push. Again, we’re not sweating this, end of story.”
Simmons—who is headed to his first All-Star Game this month—has one more year on his rookie contract after this season. Although the 76ers would love to lock him down for the long term, his agent, Rich Paul, also represents LeBron James.
James traded for Simmons after the All-Star draft, dealing away Russell Westbrook to Team Giannis.
Considering the Lakers star also drafted rumored trade target Anthony Davis as well as pending free agents Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and others, it’s easy to speculate about LeBron trying to lure Simmons to Los Angeles.
Johnson potentially having a session with Simmons over the summer would apparently be too much for the NBA to allow.