Ben Simmons Signs Rookie Contract with 76ers
Ben Simmons has signed his rookie contract, the Australian forward announced today on twitter.
While NBA rookies do not need to have signed their contract prior to participating in summer league action, it seems as if Simmons and his agent, Rich Paul, may not have been willing to play until the contract was finalized. As Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported earlier today, Simmons was not yet in Utah when the Sixers began practicing in preparation for the summer league earlier this afternoon.
With the contract now finalized, that should clear the way for Simmons’ participation in both the Utah Summer League and the Las Vegas Summer league.
Contracts for first round draft picks do not have much to be negotiated, as the NBA defines the basic parameters of a deal, which are always two guaranteed seasons followed by team options in years three and four. The NBA also sets an amount, called the rookie scale amount, a player is slotted to earn, which is based on their draft position. Teams and players can then negotiate up or down 20 percent off of that slotted amount, although in practice most first round draft picks get 120 percent of the slotted rookie scale.
The NBA slots a first year salary of just over $4.9 million for the 1st pick in the 2016 NBA draft, meaning Simmons’ likely salary, 120 percent of that amount, will come in at just over $5.9 million. That difference between what Simmons will earn and what the NBA slotted for the #1 pick will cost the Sixers roughly $1 million in available salary cap space, as the NBA sets a “cap hold” of the slotted amount prior to contracts being finalized. With the Sixers still over $40 million under the salary cap even after the signing of Jerryd Bayless, that $1 million in lost cap space is of little concern.
Timothe Luwawu, the other 76ers rookie on their summer league roster, has not yet finalized his contract either. Luwawu’s situation is a little bit more complicated as he needs to complete his buyout with his current team, Mega Leks, then get clearance from FIBA to play in the NBA.
You can find the Sixers summer league roster, and schedule, here.
Derek Bodner covers the 76ers for Philadelphia magazine. Follow @DerekBodnerNBA on Twitter.