Podcast: Turmoil surrounding Ben Simmons, Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley and NBA award predictions

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

Podcast: Turmoil surrounding Ben Simmons, Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley and NBA award predictions


Podcast: Turmoil surrounding Ben Simmons, Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley and NBA award predictions

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On the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast, hosts Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan discuss the latest turmoil surrounding Ben Simmons, Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley. Plus, the duo reports on players who agreed to rookie-scale extensions, those who didn’t sign extensions and share their NBA awards predictions for this season.

For more interviews with players, coaches, and media members, be sure to like and subscribe to the HoopsHype podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Listen to the podcast above or check out some snippets of the conversation in a transcribed version below.

:44 Ben Simmons getting kicked out of 76ers practice

Scotto: I expect more of the same behavior from Ben Simmons. He’s come this far with wanting out of Philadelphia. There’s no reason for him to turn back now. To me, it’s a different version of the James Harden saga from last year. From Philadelphia’s perspective, they’re not trying to move Simmons for a guy like CJ McCollum or solid players at the moment. One league source told me trade talks regarding Simmons have been quiet to this point. Philadelphia still wants him back, and they think he’s their best chance of winning right now, but clearly, Joel Embiid is over it. He was talking about how they can’t be “babysitting” someone. They’ve never been that tight, so I can see now how Embiid is done with this.

Gozlan: Part of the reason he came back to the Sixers was so he could get paid, but if you’re going to get suspended, that defeats the purpose of coming back. Jimmy Butler and James Harden, when they made their trade requests, they balled out and reminded the rest of the league what they’re getting if they trade for one of those guys… I think if a Simmons trade happens, it’s probably not going to happen until at least December once more players become trade eligible, so I think he’s going to have to buckle up for now. He’s going to have to play in good faith. Hopefully, over time, teams will step up their offers and get him out of there as soon as possible.

For the latest Ben Simmons updates, click here

5:57 Deandre Ayton’s frustration with the Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

Scotto: Deandre and his representation, Billy Duffy and Nima Namakian, made it clear they wanted a max, and Phoenix made it clear they didn’t view him as a max player. With that in mind, I was checking in with executives around the league for their thoughts on the Ayton situation. The first executive said to me, “That owner (Robert Sarver) is cheap, and he’ll get killed for it again. He finally had some goodwill making the Finals, and he pulls this (not extending Ayton). The fact is the kid earned it. Yes, prior to last season, I’d have questions about it, but he performed the whole season, and you invested a number one pick in him. He was a little bit, maybe, slow to develop, but he got there. I don’t think he’s mature enough to handle stuff like that (no extension), so I think it could hurt him for a while. Monty (Williams) seems to have a way with him, so maybe they can pull him back in and say, “Do your job and get paid.”

Another executive focused on it from an optics standpoint. He was saying, “It was one thing not to do an extension with Ayton, but then to do one for Landry Shamet, who hasn’t even played for their team yet was surprising.”

Gozlan: I’m not against Ayton getting a max. I think, given his contributions in the Finals run and his pedigree, I totally understand his max or no deal stance that he gave… I think the only teams that can really offer him a max contract that actually has a need for him are the Spurs and the Pistons. He can get that offer sheet. I’m not worried about that.

For the latest Deandre Ayton updates, click here

MORE: Restricted free agency behind the scenes: ‘It’s not really free agency’

13:55 Marvin Bagley’s agent calls out the Sacramento Kings

Scotto: Jeff Schwartz, Marvin Bagley’s agent, put out a statement and he blasted the Kings.

“Sacramento has informed Marvin Bagley he is not in the opening night rotation, which is completely baffling. It’s clear they have no plans for him in the future, and yet, passed on potential deals at last year’s deadline and this summer based on “value.” Instead, they chose to bring him back but not play him, a move completely contradictory to their “value” argument. This is a case study in mismanagement by the Kings organization.”

It’s been a bad fit since they passed on Luka Doncic. Bagley has a $14.76 million qualifying offer. It would be a shock if Sacramento offered that and made him a restricted free agent. He’s got to be moved by the trade deadline.

Gozlan: It seems like they’re going to hold onto his contract for a bigger trade… It’s not great for Bagley, who’s in a contract year. He needs playing time to boost his stock. It’s also bad for his free agency because now he’s not really going to get a fair shot to keep that $15 million qualifying offer. If he doesn’t get enough minutes and doesn’t start enough games, his qualifying offer could drop to around $7 million.

For the latest Marvin Bagley updates, click here.

20:05 Malcolm Brogdon’s Pacers extension

Scotto: Brogdon got a two-year extension with the Pacers, so now he can’t be traded. To me, that seemed like one of the better trade pieces, along with maybe Caris LeVert, the 76ers could’ve gotten for Ben Simmons in a hypothetical trade package… he was a guy that was knocking on the door for an All-Star appearance last year.

Gozlan: The value is pretty neutral for me. He wins by earning the same amount that he’s already been earning, and Indiana wins if the salary cap continues to rise.

22:15 Jaren Jackson Jr.’s Grizzlies extension

Scotto: One executive told me, “Some of these extensions have been surprising like Jaren Jackson. I can’t believe it. He’s barely played the last two years.”

Memphis is making a statement here taking care of their guy. When he’s healthy, he can stretch the floor and he can block shots. They took him high in the draft. He and Ja Morant are the cornerstones there.

MORE: Ja Morant: I’m a Top 5 point guard 

Gozlan: The biggest cost is that now it doesn’t look like Memphis will have cap space this year based on my projections, but there isn’t anyone that great to pursue anyways.

MORE: NBA executives predict Jackson Jr. will be among top breakout candidates

24:53 Mikal Bridges’ Suns extension

Scotto: In the last podcast, I touched on how some executives thought he could get $20 million or $20-plus, and he ends up getting $22.5 million annually on his extension.

Gozlan: I wouldn’t have been opposed if he got $100 million, so it goes without saying, I think Phoenix got great value for Bridges. You’ve got to pay up for All-Defense level wings that can guard multiple positions.

25:33 Wendell Carter Jr.’s Magic extension

Scotto: Wendell Carter Jr.’s four-year, $50 million extension with the Orlando Magic has a guaranteed salary that decreases each year of the deal, league sources told HoopsHype.

Gozlan: He’s getting slightly higher than Jusuf Nurkic money which is a steal for a starting quality center. Orlando can still generate just under $30 million in cap space in my projections next summer, which could be used to make an aggressive offer sheet to a restricted free agent.  

28:15 Kevin Huerter’s Hawks extension

Gozlan: This is the extension I loved the most out of all the extensions given out. This one was perhaps the most precise in terms of valuation. After what he did for the Hawks against the Sixers, he was due for a big contract, and  $16.25 million seems perfect considering that he’s a starting-caliber player who will likely come off the bench for the Hawks when they’re fully healthy.

29:36 Landry Shamet’s Suns extension

Gozlan: I get that for Phoenix, this is a bet that he will be a 40-percent three-point shooter going forward, but he’s been with three great organizations so far, and he hasn’t panned out yet. Why rush to an extension, especially at essentially the full mid-level exception? I’m not convinced he was getting offered that this offseason. It makes a little more sense the last two years are non-guaranteed, but that’s a lot of money to give someone who hasn’t played for you and may even send a mixed message to Ayton.

32:25 Grayson Allen’s Grizzlies extension

Scotto: Grayson Allen’s two-year extension with the Milwaukee Bucks includes $17 million guaranteed and can reach $19.6 million in potential bonuses, league sources told HoopsHype.

The Allen extension seems to be a hedge in case Donte DiVincenzo gets a huge offer sheet in restricted free agency and the Bucks don’t want to match, or they want to do a sign-and-trade.

Gozlan: He’s a high-end bench guard who can start and fill in when needed. I was surprised Allen got an extension before DiVincenzo, but I think the Bucks imagine both players back for the long run. They didn’t bring back Bryn Forbes, and they need that extra scorer. Full mid-level money annually is about what I expected him to get, and keeping it at two years makes this deal very moveable down the road. The Bucks keep their expenses relatively controlled heading into next year, but I gotta wonder what happens to DiVincenzo this offseason. I would bet Milwaukee re-signs him, but if you look at what they gave Allen, which seems pretty team-controlled, I would imagine they’re going to squeeze Donte and don’t want to give him too much more than what they gave Allen.

36:04 NBA season awards predictions

MVP: Kevin Durant

ROY: Jalen Green

DPOY: Rudy Gobert

COY: Billy Donovan (Scotto) / Michael Malone (Gozlan)

Sixth Man: Patty Mills (Scotto) / Kevin Heurter (Gozlan)

Most Improved: Jordan Poole (Scotto) / Michael Porter Jr. (Gozlan)

Champions: Lakers (Scotto) / Nets (Gozlan)

MORE: Why the 2022 free agent market could be bad

You can follow Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) and Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) on Twitter. 

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