2019 NBA free agency tracker: Grades for every deal so far

Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images /
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NBA free agency
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Ben Simmons: 5 years, $170 million (Philadelphia 76ers)

This was a no-brainer for the Philadelphia 76ers, especially after agreeing to a four-team Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade. Between Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Ben Simmons (soon), the Sixers’ core will be locked in through at least 2023, and even Josh Richardson’s player option isn’t until 2021.

It’ll come at a hefty price for a guy who can’t shoot outside of 15 feet, but because he’s so poised and playing on a team with immediate title aspirations, people forget Simmons only just completed his second year in the league. He’s got flaws, sure, but he’s also only 22 years old and already coming off his first All-Star season.

For him to put up 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game on 56.3 percent shooting, despite not being able to hit a jump shot, is astounding. Teams have been able to use that weakness against him and the Sixers in the playoffs, but if he can learn to even knock down a mid-range jumper, there’s no question this young point forward will live up to this contract.

Grade: A-