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NBA investigating Lakers-Ben Simmons contact for possible rules violations


Ben Simmons is in his 2d season with the 76ers and is about to look in his first NBA All-Celebrity Recreation. (Matt Slocum/Related Press)

Among the many interesting comments Magic Johnson made Sunday, when he said he did not think the Pelicans acted in good faith during trade talks over Anthony Davis, were some remarks about Ben Simmons. The 76ers point guard, Johnson said, had “reached out” to him “to find out if we can get together this summer” to help Simmons improve his game.

Johnson, the Lakers’ team president, claimed he told Simmons that such a meeting could only take place if both the 76ers and the NBA agreed to “sign off” on it. He added of the first overall pick in the 2016 draft (via ESPN), “I love his game. I love his vision. I love also, too, he’s very, in terms of basketball IQ, very high basketball IQ.”

Those remarks got the attention of the league, but not in the way for which Johnson might have hoped. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, an NBA spokesman mentioned Monday that the league place of work is “having a look into whether or not any touch came about” between Simmons and the Lakers “that violated NBA laws.”

Previous on Monday, 76ers Basic Supervisor Elton Logo said to a Philadelphia radio station that his Los Angeles counterpart, Rob Pelinka, had advised him that Simmons “sought after to speak to Corridor of Famers after the season” and that “Magic used to be at the record.” Logo mentioned that after Pelinka “requested for authorization” for any such assembly, Logo mentioned, “No,” and that the alternate came about “over a month in the past.”

Los Angeles officers, regardless that, introduced a somewhat other account of the discussions with Philadelphia, announcing in a statement that “final November the 76ers despatched an e mail to the Lakers” asking if Simmons “would be capable to talk with Magic Johnson about his Corridor of Popularity taking part in profession.” Handiest after “receiving the e-mail request from the 76ers,” the Lakers mentioned, did Pelinka touch Logo and let him know that Johnson “may most effective achieve this if the 76ers gave him pre-written approval.”

“That used to be the tip of the topic,” the Lakers added.

Los Angeles may without a doubt desire for there to be not more tendencies within the topic, however the group has already gotten at the NBA’s radar for tampering with different groups’ gamers. In truth, underneath Johnson’s watch, the Lakers were fined two times over the last two years, for a complete of $550,000, for such violations.

In the meantime, Davis used to be fined $50,000 by means of the NBA final month after his agent, Wealthy Paul, made it publicly identified that the all-star ahead sought after out of New Orleans. The Lakers temporarily emerged within the NBA rumor mill as Davis’s most popular vacation spot, and it wasn’t misplaced on any one that Paul is not just additionally the agent for Lakers big name LeBron James however that the 2 are shut pals of lengthy status.

Because it occurs, Simmons could also be a consumer of Paul’s, and all through the NBA All-Celebrity Recreation draft final week, James exclaimed, “You took my man!” after the opposite group captain, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Dollars, decided on the 76ers participant. Sooner or later, James engineered a business by which he landed Simmons on his all-star roster, in alternate for the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook.

As with the Lakers, Logo downplayed the touch between his group and Los Angeles over a imaginable Simmons-Johnson assembly, announcing (by means of ESPN), “We’re now not sweating this — finish of tale.”

“I’ve a perfect dating with Ben and Wealthy [Paul] and we predict him to be a Sixer for a very long time,” Logo mentioned. “He has taken hobby in speaking to one of the sport’s all-time greats and we’re supportive. I had temporary discussion with Rob Pelinka, who I’ve identified for a very long time, however not anything is deliberate. Our collective center of attention is on creating a postseason push.”

Johnson may do neatly, a minimum of in the interim, to make certain that his center of attention is on commenting on his personal gamers, and now not the ones of some other group. Everyone is aware of that tampering takes position within the NBA, and whilst Johnson may, certainly, be offering some very precious recommendation to Simmons on methods to excel as an oversize level guard, he used to be additionally employed to recruit big name gamers to the Lakers, and appearances topic.

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