Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Ben Simmons, Sixers reach settlement after All-Star filed grievance to recoup part of $20 million, per report


Although Ben Simmons was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Brooklyn Nets over six months ago, there were still some loose ends that needed to be tied up between the All-Star guard and his former franchise. Simmons filed a grievance against the Sixers back in April in an effort to recoup a portion of the nearly $20 million in salary that Philadelphia withheld from him last season for refusing to play in games prior to getting traded. Now, the two sides have come to an agreement, per Adrian Wojnarowski, though the exact dollar amount will remain confidential

Simmons requested a trade from the Sixers prior to the start of last season and was adamant that he would not play again until the Sixers dealt him somewhere else. When he didn’t show up for the start of training camp last season and refused to play in preseason and regular season games, the Sixers felt the All-Defensive guard was in breach of his contract. As a result, Philadelphia began withholding the per-game salary of $360,000 for every game he missed. For each paycheck Simmons received, the Sixers withheld $1.3 million, which added up to nearly $20 million last season. 

While the Sixers felt Simmons was in breach of contract, the 26-year-old guard cited his mental health for the reason behind him not suiting up for Philadelphia last season. Though we won’t know the exact dollar amount Simmons managed to recoup from the Sixers, this settlement can officially put a bookend on his time with the team, and both sides can move forward. 

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Simmons can now fully focus on making his long-awaited debut with the Nets. After being traded to Brooklyn last season, Simmons didn’t suit up for a single game due to a back injury. But the Nets team he ends up sharing the floor with could look vastly different than the one he was traded to last season, as the future of both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been in question for over two months. Durant requested a trade from Brooklyn at the start of free agency and has not wavered in that stance, while the Nets have been rumored to trade Irving elsewhere, potentially to the Los Angeles Lakers.

For the Sixers, officially ending the Simmons chapter with the completion of this settlement will mean the team can look ahead to contending for a championship with Joel Embiid and James Harden at the center of it all. Ironically enough, the Sixers have been linked to potentially trading for Durant, but they’re just one of several teams who would love to acquire the two-time Finals MVP.     

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