For better or worse, the Philadelphia 76ers core is set for the long-term.

Ben Simmons agreed to sign a five-year, $170 million maximum contract extension, per Shams Charnia of The Athletic.

Simmons is entering the last year of his rookie contract that will pay him just over $8 million. He will make just over $29 million beginning at the start of the 2020-2021 season.

Alongside Simmons, teammates Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, and Al Horford are all under contract for at least the next four seasons.

Sixers Front Office Showing Faith

By agreeing to give Simmons $170 million over five years, the organization is placing faith in Simmons to enter next season with an improved jump shot.

Even without an outside shot, Simmons is an excellent player and a perennial all-star. But this team needs him to attempt outside shots.

During a press conference announcing the Sixers offseason moves, Tobias Harris provided an update about Simmons’ jump shot after the two recently worked out together.

“Everybody was trying to figure out why I was guarding him at the three-point line, but it was really because he hit two of them,” Harris said Friday. “When I dared him to shoot two of them, he hit two in a row. That’s why I was there. He’s made big improvements on his game. His jump shot is looking really good and he has the confidence to shoot it.”

The goal should be for Simmons to follow Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo’s development. Antetokounmpo didn’t enter the league with an outside shot but slowly developed a respectable jump shot over several seasons.

The Bucks signed him to a four-year $100 million contract in 2016 before he made significant strides with his jumper and it payed off big time.

If Simmons follows a similar path, $170 million will be an underpay.

Running the Show

Now with Jimmy Butler leaving, Simmons is the primary ball-handler in all situations. He will handle the ball in tight games in the fourth quarter and throughout the playoffs.

Simmons will need to take the ball when the team is leading late in the game and make free-throws to put a game away. He is a career 58.3 percent free-throw shooter.

The defense must respect his shooting to space the floor for Joel Embiid and Al Horford in the paint. If defenses don’t sag off him at the three-point line, their offense will be much better.

It’s a risk giving him a max contract due to the current construction of the roster, but he’s well worth it.

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