Fire up the Conjecture Machine! This one’s coming in hot.
Magic Johnson already told reporters on Sunday that he felt as though the New Orleans Pelicans didn’t act in good faith when negotiating for Anthony Davis earlier this month. Then Magic proceeded to tell reporters that Philadelphia 76ers point forward Ben Simmons wants to meet with him this offseason to discuss how to play the position as a taller player.
This would seem relatively harmless save for a couple things. First, Johnson has already been pretty loose with the rules, leading to a tampering fine in relation to some comments he made about Paul George.
Second, there’s been some discussion around NBA types that Simmons could be the odd man out in Philadelphia, particularly if the Sixers re-sign Jimmy Butler to a mega deal this summer. It’s not clear whether Simmons fits long term with Joel Embiid, Butler, and now Tobias Harris. Elton Brand has said that he wants to keep everyone in the City of Brotherly Love, but until the contracts are inked and the trade calls are rejected, that’s just talk.
Simmons, despite all his talent, makes the least sense from a basketball context with the team as it’s constructed now. There’s also the factor of Embiid having already signed his extension, so Philly is already all-in with him from here on out.
No doubt this will fire up the rumor mill about whether Magic could put a bug in Simmons’ ear, or whether Simmons could be restless, or if the Lakers are on the up-and-up. Obviously, any assumptions are pure conjecture, and it’s true that the similarities between Simmons and Magic as players do lend to some benefit between knowledge being shared between them.
The Lakers are nothing if not entertaining. We’ll see if everyone gives the A-OK for these two to meet.