NEW YORK: Number one NBA Draft pick Ben Simmons of Australia has signed a rookie contract with the Philadelphia 76ers that is expected to bring him between $4 million and $6 million next season.
The 76ers announced Sunday the signings of 19-year-old forward Simmons and 24th overall selection Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, a 21-year-old French forward.
“Happy to say I’m a part of the family,” Simmons wrote in a tweet that included a photograph of him signing the contract.
NBA newcomers can sign deals with clubs but free agents must wait until Thursday before they can close deals, although they may now negotiate terms with teams.
Simmons, the first top pick for the Sixers since Allen Iverson in 1996, averaged 19.2 points and 11.8 rebounds in his lone US college season at Louisiana State.
The Sixers’ website already has a ticket sales campaign built around Simmons, saying next season is “All About The Benjamin,” a nod to Benjamin Franklin’s face on the US $100 bill and a slang phrase used by Americans when saying money matters most.
Luwawu-Cabarrot averaged 12 points, five rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes a game for France in last year’s Under-20 European Championships.
Both players are expected to participate on 76ers teams in summer league games at Utah and Las Vegas.