Ben Simmons admits he's disappointed that LeBron James didn't join the 76ers

Cleveland Cavaliers v Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers failed to secure the marquee free agent they set their sights on this summer and have had a relatively quiet summer in terms of acquisitions. 

The dream was to land LeBron James but the four-time MVP chose to take his talents to California and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

James, however, did admit that he strongly considered joining the 76ers to team up with young superstars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, which is some consolation for the franchise. 

"I definitely thought long and hard about the possibilities of lining up alongside Ben [Simmons] and [Joel] Embiid," he said in an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols.

His agent met with the Sixers front office before making his decision but this turned out to be out of courtesy.

Protégé

LeBron has been a mentor for Simmons for a number of years and has taken the youngster under his wing since he entered the NBA. 

The Aussie is represented by the same agent as LBJ, Rich Paul, and he had hopes of teaming up alongside the three-time champion. 

In a recent interview, the 22-year-old said the Sixers will be fine for the upcoming season but admitted that he was a little disappointed that the King decided to head for L.A.

"A little bit," Simmons told the Daily Telegraph when asked if he was disappointed that James didn't sign with the Sixers.

"At the same time, he did the right thing for him and his family. But it would've been great to learn from him, him being on the team and obviously competing for a championship.

"But we have pieces to get there."

The Rookie of the Year did reveal, however, that he had an idea of what James had decided in free agency. 

Cleveland Cavaliers v Philadelphia 76ers

"I spoke to him before he actually decided, but I just had a feeling that he'd already picked so it was kinda funny," Simmons told NBA Australia's James McKern.

"I was reaching out to him but I already knew."

Despite heading into the 2018-19 season with largely the same roster - bar the addition of Wilson Chandler - Philly are still likely to compete for a championship. 

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron may have passed on a move to Philadelphia but his decision to leave the east does help the 76ers. 

They're likely to battle the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors for a place in the NBA Finals in a wide-open conference. 

It may have been a quiet summer for the team but it doesn't make them any less of a threat.

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