Ben Simmons has signed a $242million NBA contract extension – making him the highest-paid Australian athlete ever.
Melbourne-born Simmons, 22, signed a five-year maximum contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Athletic, citing Simmons’ agent Rich Paul, was the first to report on Tuesday that the 2.08m (6’10”) tall star had accepted the 76ers offer.
Ben Simmons has signed a $242million NBA contract extension – making him the highest-paid Australian athlete ever
The deal is a significant step up from his four-year $37m rookie deal that will see him earn $11.5m this season.
Simmons will make a staggering $42m in the first year of his new contract.
His pay will then increase to about $55m in the final years of the deal, alongside an additional $20m from a contract with Nike over five years.
Doubt still hangs over whether the Melbourne-born NBA All-Star will play for Australia later this year at the World Cup in China and in Melbourne and Perth exhibition games.
Mr Paul who shocked Australian sports fans on Saturday when he told ESPN that Simmons was ‘doubtful’ to play for Australia at the World Cup in August-September.
Mr Paul said Simmons would be spending his off-season from the 76ers training for the next season instead of playing for the Australian team.
His absence would be a major blow to the Boomers’ hopes of claiming a medal in China in September and to huge crowds of Australian fans planning to watch him play exhibition games with the Boomers.
Simmons (pictured) will make a staggering $42m in the first year of his new contract
Fans were crushed after the player announced his commitment to the Boomers before uploading footage of his number 25 Australian shirt last month.
‘I am going to be a Boomer for the upcoming events so stay tuned,’ he said in a video shared to Twitter.
The Boomers will play a powerful US squad twice in front of more than a combined 100,000 fans at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne in August.
Simmons was also set to play for the Boomers twice in Perth against a strong Canadian squad before jetting out to China.