NBA: 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 dispute will now be resolved through an arbitration process. It might have broader consequences for the league as mental health concerns and NBA contracts become more prevalent in the future.
Simmons was in breach of his contract under the collective bargaining agreement. It was between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Also, Philadelphia had the right to recuperate the money paid to him before the season, according to Philadelphia.
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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 team, NBA, and NBPA late this week.
NBA: 76ers and Ben Simmons disagreed over the degrees of access
Simmons allegedly broke his player contract by neglecting to show up for the start of training camp. And refusing to participate during the preseason and regular season. Also, according to the 76ers. Simmons landed in Philadelphia at the conclusion of the preseason. But his involvement in team activities was limited due to his mental health.
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The 76ers and Simmons were at odds over the level of access given to Simmons by the team 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 attempt to resolve 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 postseason meeting after the three-time All-Star guard fell out with the club following 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 contract in 2019.
Philadelphia began clawing back Simmons’ $360,000 per-game compensation for each game. It was for Simmons to miss this season with his first payday on Nov. 15. Meanwhile, 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 offseason.