Ben Simmons wants the rest of his money from the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to reports, Philly’s former prodigal Australian son filed a grievance against his old team for the reported almost $20 million in salary the team withheld before his trade to the Brooklyn Nets in February.
The grievance sets up a faceoff with future ramifications on placing mental health in the conversation about players’ opting out of play and their contracts.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the grievance will head to arbitration. However, reports are also that the National Basketball Players Association is aware the action and stands behind Simmons.
The grievance – which will now go to an arbitration process – was shared with the team, NBA and National Basketball Players Association late this week, sources tell ESPN. The NBPA is supporting Simmons in the attempt to reclaim his salary.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 2, 2022
Simmons was the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA draft. He signed a five-year, $170 million maximum contract in 2019 with the 76ers. However, after his performance during last season’s Eastern Conference Finals against Atlanta, the tension between the 76ers and their fans towards Simmons hit a fever pitch.
Words were said in press conferences by head coach Doc Rivers and 76ers indomitable center Joel Embiid that Simmons seemingly internalized.
As a result, Simmons refused to return for training camp, and rumors abounded about his unwillingness to face the passionate Philadelphia fans.
Chuck The Deuce
Eventually, Simmons opted against playing for the Sixers. However, he utilized a defense with no real case study in the NBA, one surrounding mental health.
The Sixers could not find a trade partner during the offseason until a surprising blockbuster deal came out of seemingly nowhere.
On Feb. 10, Simmons went to the Brooklyn Nets in a massive trade involving one of the Nets’ big three, James Harden. According to reports, Simmons’ agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports attempted to find a quieter solution with the Sixers, but they decided to take it to arbitration after no resolution.
I’d like to file a grievance against Ben Simmons for the emotional and financial damage he caused me when I attended game 7 of the Eastern conference semifinals
— Ry (@NinjaBands) April 2, 2022
According to reports, Simmons received his first paycheck on Nov. 15, and it initiated Philadelphia’s withholding of $360,000, the per-game salary, for every game Simmons missed this current season.
Since Simmons received a $16.5 million advance from his $33 million offseason salary, there weren’t enough funds per paycheck to cover the per-game salary deductions.
According to reports, the Sixers withheld nearly $1.3 million of Simmons’ salary in each of his paychecks, minus the escrow amount withheld by the NBA.
Additionally, the Nets have had to deduct salary from Simmons’ pay to wire to the Sixers with Simmons’ last paycheck due on April 30. However, deductions are supposed to carry over to the offseason, with Simmons due to receive an $8.25 million advance on July 1 and October 1.
I'm triggered pic.twitter.com/XE8Bkpg7RK
— SupportASDKids 🥰😍💞🙏🏾 (@SupportASDKidz) April 2, 2022
NBA x CBA
Per the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, a grievance must be initiated within 30 days from the date of the occurrence that the grievance is based. The only other option is to file a grievance within 30 days from when the facts become known to initiate the grievance.
With six weeks passed since Ben Simmons’ trade to the Brooklyn Nets, during which he has yet to play any minutes, Simmons’ team believes the trade didn’t trigger a 30-day grievance initiation window.
Traded But Not Forgotten
According to reports, Simmons’ team believes issues with the team sparked some mental health issue that persisted season-long.
Simmons’ saga rages on, and if the Sixers thought the trade wrapped their separation with a bow they were mistaken.