Simmons files grievance over nearly $20M withheld by 76ers

Posted: 03/04/2022 in NBA
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Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has filed a grievance for nearly $20 million in salary withheld by the Philadelphia 76ers this season, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Simmons’ complaint has the support of the National Basketball Players Association and will be assessed through an arbitration process, Wojnarowski adds.

Simmons has not appeared in a game this season for either the Nets or 76ers. The 25-year-old missed training camp and the preseason with Philadelphia while attempting to force a trade following the 76ers’ disappointing exit from the 2021 playoffs, during which he was a popular target of criticism.

Simmons and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, reportedly first requested a trade in an offseason meeting. The 76ers dealt the three-time All-Star to the Nets in February as part of a blockbuster deal involving James Harden.

Philadelphia began fining Simmons during the preseason after he failed to report to training camp, and they reportedly continued to withhold his salary for each contest missed – $360,000 per game – during the season.

The 76ers stopped penalizing Simmons in October when he claimed his absence was due to mental health concerns. But they reinstated the fines when the former Rookie of the Year failed to cooperate with their demands.

Brooklyn has deducted a portion of Simmons’ salary to send to Philadelphia since he joined the Nets, sources told Wojnarowski; Simmons’ in-season paychecks with the 76ers reportedly didn’t cover the fines due to the offseason advance payouts stipulated in his contract.

The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement stipulates that any grievance must be initiated within 30 days of the infraction. Klutch Sports reportedly believes Simmons’ trade to the Nets did not trigger the 30-day window because the deductions have continued throughout the season.

Brooklyn has held Simmons out of action following February’s trade due to a disc irritation in his lower spine. The Nets are hopeful he’ll return before the end of the regular season.

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