Or maybe he just had a hunch.
"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."
James later admitted that the Philadelphia 76ers were one of three teams, along with the Lakers and Houston Rockets, he strongly considered signing with following his second run with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While the Sixers and Rockets are better equipped to immediately contend for a championship, the historical allure of being a Laker paired with the challenge of getting the team back to the postseason is what led James to his decision.
The new-look Lakers will square off with Simmons and Philly for the first time in 2018-19 on Jan. 29 at Staples Center.