76ers ink PG Simmons to five-year extension

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia 76ers and All-Star guard Ben Simmons have agreed to a $170 million, five-year contract extension.

Simmons was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016. He made his NBA debut in the 2017-18 season and was the Rookie of the Year. He was an All-Star for the first time last season. He has averaged 16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.9 assists in his two seasons.

Philadelphia is 101-58 in regular-season games when Simmons plays. He has had 22 triple-doubles in the past two seasons, tied for third most in the league with Denver's Nikola Jokic and trailing Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (59) and the Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (26).

Simmons also has had 80 double-doubles over the past two seasons.

"Ben Simmons is an important piece of our core and he is one of the NBA's most dynamic and talented young players," Sixers general manager Elton Brand said.

"It was a priority for our organization that we finalize a contract extension with Ben this summer. He was Rookie of the Year in his first season, an All-Star in his second and we expect him to continue grow and succeed for seasons to come. Ben positively impacts the game in so many ways and we look forward to continuing our championship pursuits with him as one of our leaders."

PRO BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams was suspended without pay by the WNBA on Tuesday for 10 games - nearly a third of the season - for a domestic violence incident.

Williams was arrested on April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.

The WNBA conducted its own investigation and consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence. Among other factors, the league said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including the involvement of a gun. The WNBA also will require Williams to participate in counseling.

PRO HOCKEY

SEATTLE (AP) - Seattle's NHL expansion team is close to an agreement with Hockey Hall of Famer Ron Francis to become its first general manager, a person with direct knowledge tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team had not made an announcement.

The expansion Seattle franchise is set to begin play in the 2021-22 season as the NHL's 32nd team.

The 56-year-old Francis has been in hockey operations since shortly after the end of his Hall of Fame playing career. All of that time has come with the Carolina Hurricanes, including four seasons as their GM.

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - The Capitals have re-signed winger Jakub Vrana to a $6.7 million, two-year contract, the biggest item left on Washington's offseason checklist.

The 23-year-old restricted free agent set career highs with 24 goals, 23 assists and 47 points last season. He has 80 points in 176 NHL regular-season games.

The Czech had three goals and five assists during the Capitals' 2018 Stanley Cup run and scored first in the title-clinching Game 5 in the final at Vegas.

PRO FOOTBALL

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Vikings running back Roc Thomas has been suspended for the first three games of the regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse.

The league announced the punishment Tuesday, the week before training camp begins. Thomas can participate in preseason practices and games. If he makes the team he'd be eligible to return to action Sept. 23.

Thomas was sentenced to three years of probation in May after pleading guilty to fifth-degree felony possession of marijuana. He was arrested at his apartment in January, when police officers found 143 grams of the drug.

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