Magic Johnson and Ben Simmons have sent the basketball world into a spin after the NBA great and the young Australian star confirmed they might work out together in the off-season.
Johnson, the LA Lakers president of basketball operations who is desperate to add All-Stars alongside LeBron James, was cautious with his words after the NBA fined him $US550,000 for tampering after comments about Paul George and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The 208cm-tall Simmons is often compared to 206cm Hall of Fame inductee Johnson for their size and style of play.
"Trying to learn from somebody like that would be huge," Simmons said after his Philadelphia 76ers trounced the visiting Lakers 143-120.
Simmons had eight points, three rebounds and seven assists but the reigning rookie of the year caused a stir on Sunday when he took the first legitimate three-pointer of his fledgling NBA career.
Simmons rarely attempts shots outside the key and Boston took advantage in last year's play-offs by daring him to shoot. When queried about the shot that bounced off the rim, he said: "[They want me to] be more aggressive, take more open shots, and just try to grow my game in that way. It takes time but I'm going to get there."
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said he spoke with Simmons about expanding his game with longer shot attempts.
"We have a window of 27 or whatever amount of games left and I'd like to try some of this stuff prior to the All-Star break," Brown said.
Sixers star Joel Embiid said he let out an expletive when he saw Simmons fire up the three.
"It caught me off guard," Embiid said.
"And then I'm in a position where I'm like, what just happened?"
On a possible working relationship with Simmons, Johnson said it was the Australian that has contacted him.
"He reached out to me, not to me directly, but to the Lakers, to find out if we could get together this summer," Johnson told reporters.
"I said, 'Hey, you've got to clear it with the league'.
"Everybody, the Sixers sign off, we sign off, the league signs off that there's not nothing going on.
"But he wants to know how to play the position as a big guard.
"It's fine, I will do that, but if everybody doesn't sign off, then we can't get together."
Simmons is expected to sign a $A200 million-plus contract extension with the 76ers in the off-season but the Lakers could be on his radar.
James proved his admiration for Simmons on Thursday in the All-Star game draft when he dropped an expletive when opposing captain Antetokounmpo chose the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year.
James was so keen to add Simmons to his All-Star squad he traded former NBA MVP and eight-time All-Star Russell Westbrook for his 22-year-old protege.