Back on March 8th, Kyle Neubeck at Philly Voice reported that Ben Simmons and his camp were planning to file a grievance against the Sixers, and it looks like that’s now happening:
Reporting with @RamonaShelburne and @BobbyMarks42: Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has filed a grievance to challenge the nearly $20 million of salary withheld to him by the Philadelphia 76ers this season. Story soon on ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 2, 2022
Woj goes on to say this:
“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.”
Simmons has not played for the Nets since the trade deadline move, and is dealing with back issues that may or may not keep him out of the postseason as well. He did not play for the Sixers before he was swapped for James Harden.
Going back to September, Simmons was under contract and did not show up for media day and training camp. The Sixers began to withhold his money via escrow, Ben came back to practice, and then was kicked out of a session by Doc Rivers due to what the coach described as non-participation. After all of that was when we first heard about the mental health issues.
The interesting thing here is more of a macro-level thing. If Simmons wins this grievance, and gets his money, that’s a significant victory for the player side of the league. We’re already in the “era of player empowerment,” so this is a situation fans should definitely keep an eye on.
“Minus the amount for escrow that was withheld by the NBA, the 76ers had been withholding nearly $1.3 million of Simmons’ salary in each of his paycheck. That’s continued since the trade to the Nets, who are made to deduct salary from Simmons’ pay to wire to the 76ers, sources said. Because Simmons last paycheck is on April 30, the deductions should carry over to the offseason. Once again. Simmons will receive a $8.25 million advance on July 1 and October 1.”