Ben Simmons has agreed to a five-year, $US170 million ($A242 million) contract extension with the Philadelphia 76ers in the richest deal ever by an Australian athlete.
The Athletic, citing Simmons' agent Rich Paul, was the first to report on Monday (Tuesday AEST) that he had accepted the offer.
The team and Paul have been working out details since July 2. The maximum extension was originally believed to be $US168.2 million, yet it's actually higher than $US170 million due to the new salary cap projections.
The extension, which begins during the 2020-21 season, could pass $US200 million if Simmons makes the All-NBA team this season.
Simmons is a triple-double machine and one of the NBA's young superstars, so extending his contract was an easy decision for the ownership group and front office, despite criticism from some over elements of his game, predominantly the lack of a reliable jumpshot.
The 22-year-old averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists last season as the Sixers lost in the second round of the playoffs to eventual champions Toronto. He had 10 triple-doubles this past season and now has 22 for his career.
He joins Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only NBA players with at least 10 triple-double in each of their first two seasons.
Doubt still hangs over whether the Melbourne-born NBA All-Star will play for Australia later this year at the World Cup in China and in Melbourne and Perth exhibition games.
It was Paul who shocked Australian sports fans on the weekend when he told ESPN that Simmons was "doubtful" to play for Australia at the World Cup in August-September.
His absence would be a major blow to the Boomers' hopes of claiming a medal in China in September and to huge crowds of Australian fans planning to watch him play exhibition games with the Boomers.
The Boomers will play a powerful US squad twice in front of more than a combiRead More – Source