Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is hoping to meet with Los Angeles Lakers legend and current president of basketball operations Magic Johnson this summer in order to learn from the former point guard. Simmons, much like Magic, is a rare example of a "big" guard, and likewise works his offense through superior vision and efficient finishing as opposed to prolific jump-shooting.
Johnson responded to the request saying that he was willing to help develop Simmons' game... before going on to compliment the 22-year-old's talents at length.
Here are Magic Jonshon’s full comments on potentially working out with Ben Simmons this off-season. He reinforces that approval from all three parties (Lakers, 76ers and the NBA) is first required. pic.twitter.com/l26Zh4e5JW— Ben Mallis (@BenMallis) February 10, 2019
Johnson did reiterate that the NBA, Lakers and 76ers all need to agree in order for the pair to sit down together. But still, given his past transgressions when it comes to tampering, Magic's effusive praise rightly raised eyebrows.
Learning from this all-timer could help to bring Simmons' game to the next level, as the two exhibit similar play styles and body frames. Johnson was never much of a three-point artist during his days in the league, and Simmons has still yet to connect on a shot from beyond the arc over the course of his young career.
The Lakers' open desire to add talent to their roster has occasionally flirted with the boundaries of tampering, and observers around the league are practically waiting for them to slip up again. With that in mind, Johnson should be extremely delicate with how he handles this situation with Simmons-- more delicate than he's currently being.
Magic also showered praised upon Ben Simmons, saying "I love his game. I love his vision. I love also, too, in terms of basketball I.Q., he has very high basketball I.Q. Look at him now, the east better watch out." pic.twitter.com/WO5LHfSorK— Ben Mallis (@BenMallis) February 10, 2019
While nothing Johnson has said as of yet has been dyed-in-the-wool tampering, one can only imagine the pitch he would give to Ben Simmons to bring him to Los Angeles if given half a chance. We already know Lebron James is eager to add some big names to this Laker squad, so he would likely be on board with adding Simmons to the mix. But at what cost? Tread lightly, gentlemen.