NBA looking into whether there was impermissible contact between Lakers, Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons could undoubtedly learn a thing or two from Magic Johnson. The supersized point guards are not only two of the best passers the league has ever seen, but share a weakness the Los Angeles Lakers legend was ultimately able to overcome en route to winning five championships: poor outside shooting.
Philadelphia 76ers general manager Elton Brand, though, sees Simmons’ desire to pick Johnson’s brain this summer as more dangerous to his team than beneficial, evidently somewhat concerned about the notion of the Lakers president recruiting his franchise floor general during a potential meet-up.
While Brand tried to downplay the situation, the league office is reportedly looking into whether impermissible contact between Simmons and the Lakers has already taken place:
The Lakers are being investigated again. Per NBA spokesman Mike Bass: "The league office is looking into whether any contact took place between Ben Simmons and the Los Angeles Lakers that violated NBA rules."
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) February 11, 2019
Brand explained during a chat with 97.5 The Fanatic on Monday that Los Angeles general manager Rob Pelinka recently reached out to him to get approval for Simmons meeting with Johnson, a request the Sixers’ rookie decision-maker objected outright. Simmons, it bears mentioning, is represented by Klutch Sports, the agency founded by LeBron James’ longtime friend and agent Rich Paul. Anthony Davis, who requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans last week with the ostensible goal of wearing purple and gold, is also a Klutch client.
If the investigation ultimately finds that Los Angeles ran afoul of league rules regarding contact with Simmons, it wouldn’t be the first time this regime was fined for its implicit courtship of opposing players. The team was docked $50,000 this time last year after Johnson publicly discussed the greatness of Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, and $500,000 in August 2017 due to contact between Pelinka and the representation for Paul George while he was under contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder.