The NBA is looking into whether Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons and LA Lakers president Magic Johnson had any contact which violated league rules.
The probe will look into a possible breach of anti-tampering rules.
Reports of Simmons’ desire to speak with the Lakers legend prompted the investigation.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass tells ESPN: “The league office is looking into whether any contact took place between Ben Simmons and the Los Angeles Lakers that violated NBA rules.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 11, 2019
The similarities between the two are behind the Aussie phenom’s desire to meet with Johnson.
Both are exceptionally tall point guards, and both are known for their sublime passing ability.
Johnson said Simmons had reached out to the Lakers to discuss a potential work-out.
Philadelphia general manager Elton Brand said he was not concerned about the investigation.
“No issue. I have a great relationship with Ben and (his agent) Rich Paul, and we expect him to be a Sixer for a long time,” Brand told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“He has taken interest in chatting with some of the game’s all-time greats and we’re supportive.”
The NBA may have decided to further investigate the contact due to the many links between the Lakers, Simmons, and other players in the league.
Simmons’ agent, Klutch Sports’ Rich Paul, also represents LeBron James, arguably the league’s best player.
James has openly spoken about mentoring Simmons, frequently referring to the Australian star as ‘young king’ on social media and trading for him as an All-Star game captain.
Paul also represents New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, who requested a trade late in January.
The league has been cracking down on the anti-tampering rule.
The Lakers have twice run afoul of the stipulation.
In 2017, the team was fined $500,000 after general manager Rob Pelinka was found to have had inappropriate dealings with then-Indiana Pacers star Paul George and his agent.
Johnson himself was also in the league’s bad books this year, fined $50,000 for praising Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2018.
Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry was fined $25,000 this week for making similar comments about New Orleans centre Anthony Davis.