Brooklyn Nets’ Ben Simmons files for nearly $20 million challenge withheld by Philadelphia 76ers
Brooklyn Nets point guard Ben Simmonsfiled a complaint challenging the nearly $20 million salary the Philadelphia 76ers withheld from him this season, leading to the potential for a big match, sources told ESPN Saturday.
The complaint, which will now go to arbitration, could have broader ramifications for the league amid future mental health issues and NBA contracts.
Philadelphia repeatedly insisted that Simmons breached his contract under the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and was entitled to a refund of pre-season money. The NBA and the NBPA have been at odds over this issue, and now the arbitration could set a precedent for how to handle mental health issues and future contracts.
Sources said the complaint was filed with the team, the National Basketball Association and the league later this week.
The 76ers say Simmons broke his contract with the player by not showing up at the start of training camp and refusing to play during pre-season and the regular season. Simmons arrived in Philadelphia towards the end of pre-season, but cited mental health issues as a reason for his limited involvement in team activities.
The 76ers and Simmons disagreed about the access scores given to Simmons by the team and its doctors for diagnosing and confirming these mental health problems.
In an effort to resolve the matter without arbitration, Simmons representatives have had several discussions with the Sixers since trading with Brooklyn for James hardened The sources said on February 10. The sources said that those talks ended without a solution, which prompted the filing of the complaint.
Simmons and his agent Rich Paul asked Klutch Sports for a deal at a post-season meeting after the three-time All-Star guard sparred with the team over a poor performance in a loss to Atlanta in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Simmons, a first-choice in the 2016 NBA draft, was one of the top defenders in the league and signed a five-year contract worth a maximum of $170 million in 2019.
Starting with Simmons’ first paycheck on November 15, Philadelphia has begun withholding his $360,000 salary for every game Simmons has missed this season. Since Simmons earned $16.5 million up front on his $33 million off-season salary, there wasn’t enough money in each paycheck to cover the game’s deductions.
Minus the amount of collateral held by the NBA, the 76ers were holding nearly $1.3 million of Simmons’ salary in each of his paychecks. Sources said that has continued since the trade to the Nets, who have to deduct the salary from Simmons’ salary to send a deal to the 76ers. Since Simmons’ last paycheck is April 30th, the deductions must be carried over to the off-season. one more time. Simmons will receive an advance of $8.25 million on July 1 and October 1.
The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) states that a grievance must be initiated within 30 days of the date the complaint is filed, or within 30 days of the date the grievance is known. The facts of the matter to start the complaint, according to the CBA.
Sources said it’s been six weeks since Simmons was traded from Philadelphia to Brooklyn, but Simmons’ representatives believe the trade did not require a 30-day period to file a complaint because the problem has been around all season.
Simmons has yet to play a game for the Nets this season. He had a previous back injury while trying to increase his conditioning to make his debut with the net. Simmons, who has not played since losing the game in June, received an epidural to treat a herniated disc in his back last month. Sources said Simmons’ back issue and related surveys were revealed during the business discussions and did not pose any significant long-term issue to Nets at the time.
The infection first hit Simmons during the spring of the 2020 season, which halted the pandemic. He also reported discomfort in his back when informed of Sixers training camp in October. The injury was evaluated and treated by Sixers’ doctors, and he was cleared of resuming basketball activities soon after. That time period was the only time Philadelphia did not find Simmons in breach of his contract this season, sources said.