NBA investigating proposed Simmons, Magic meeting
Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons wanted to sit down with Magic Johnson to discuss being a big point guard in the NBA, but Sixers general manager Elton Brand said he nixed that idea.
And although Brand said he considers the
case closed, the NBA is investigating.
"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 told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
When Brand was interviewed on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on Monday, the
conversation about the 76ers and their post-trade deadline lineup took a turn
toward a potential meeting between the Lakers legend and Simmons.
Johnson, the Lakers team president, said Sunday that Simmons had contacted him
about potentially meeting in the offseason. Johnson told reporters they
couldn't talk "if everybody doesn't sign off."
Brand said his Lakers counterpart, Rob Pelinka, contacted him about a month
ago about the idea.
"Rob Pelinka called me and said that Ben wanted to talk to Hall of Famers
after the season. Magic was on the list," Brand said during the interview. "He
asked for authorization, I said no. This was over a month ago."
The Lakers have been fined twice by the NBA for tampering since Johnson has
been in charge. And although there has been no talk of the Lakers pursuing
Simmons - he doesn't become a restricted free agent until 2020 - eyes could be
raised if he and Johnson got together.
Brand reiterated to Wojnarowski that he is not worried the Lakers are trying
to snatch his young star.
"No issue. I have a great relationship with Ben and Rich (Paul) and we expect
him to be a Sixer for a long time," Brand said. "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."
-- Field Level Media