The 76ers have reportedly withheld nearly $20 million of their own player’s salary due to a breach in contract. The NBA will now decide whether the team or Simmons must pay back the money that was not previously agreed upon.
The “76ers vs nets” is a legal battle that has been going on for quite some time. The Brooklyn Nets’ Ben Simmons filed a grievance to challenge nearly $20 million withheld by the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to ESPN, Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has filed a grievance against the Philadelphia 76ers for withholding over $20 million in compensation this season, setting up a potentially huge battle.
The claim, which will now go to arbitration, might have broader league ramifications in the future, especially as it relates to mental health concerns and NBA contracts.
Simmons was in violation of his contract under the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, and Philadelphia had the right to recuperate the money paid to him before to the season, according to Philadelphia. The NBA and the NBPA have been at war over this problem, and now arbitration might establish a precedent for how mental health and contract issues are handled in the future.
According to sources, the file was made with the club, NBA, and NBPA late this week.
Simmons allegedly broke his player contract by neglecting to show up for the start of training camp and refusing to participate throughout the preseason and regular season, according to the 76ers. Simmons landed in Philadelphia at the conclusion of the preseason, but his involvement in team activities was restricted due to his mental health.
The 76ers and Simmons were at odds over the level of access given to Simmons by the club and its physicians in order to assess and confirm his mental health.
Simmons’ agents have had many meetings with the Sixers since the blockbuster deal to Brooklyn for James Harden on Feb. 10 in an effort to settle the problem without arbitration, according to sources. According to reports, the conversations concluded without a conclusion, triggering the filing of the grievance.
Simmons and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, demanded a trade at a playoff meeting after the three-time All-Star guard fell out with the club after a subpar performance in a loss to Atlanta in the Eastern Conference finals. Simmons, the NBA’s No. 1 selection in 2016, has established himself as one of the league’s best defenders, signing a five-year, $170 million maximum deal in 2019.
Philadelphia started clawing back Simmons’ $360,000 per-game compensation for each game Simmons missed this season with his first payday on Nov. 15. There wasn’t enough money in each paycheck to fulfill the per-game deductions since Simmons earned a $16.5 million advance on his $33 million contract in the summer.
The 76ers had been withholding about $1.3 million of Simmons’ compensation in each of his paychecks, less the amount for escrow withheld by the NBA. This has been the case since Simmons was traded to the Nets, who were forced to remove money from Simmons’ wages in order to wire to the 76ers, according to sources. The deductions should continue over to the offseason since Simmons’ final paycheck is on April 30. Once again. On July 1 and October 1, Simmons will earn a $8.25 million advance.
According to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, a grievance must be filed within 30 days after the incident upon which the claim is based — or within 30 days of the date when the facts of the problem become known to commence the grievance.
Although Simmons has been in Brooklyn for six weeks, Simmons’ agents think the trade did not trigger a 30-day timeframe to file a grievance since the problem has been continuing throughout the season, according to sources.
Simmons has yet to appear in a Nets game. He endured a flare-up of a prior back ailment while trying to get in shape for his Nets debut. Last month, Simmons underwent an epidural injection to address a herniated disk in his back, which he hadn’t played since the team’s playoff defeat in June. According to insiders, Simmons’ back ailment and pertinent scans were revealed during trade talks and did not represent any substantial long-term difficulties for the Nets at the time.
Simmons was initially impacted by the injury in the spring of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. When he went to the Sixers’ training camp in October, he also complained of back pain. Philadelphia’s team physicians inspected and treated the injury, and he was allowed to resume basketball activities soon after. According to reports, it was the first occasion this season that Philadelphia did not find Simmons in violation of his contract.
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