Sports

Brooklyn Nets’ Ben Simmons files complaint to challenge nearly $20 million withheld by Philadelphia 76ers

Sources told ESPN Saturday that Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has filed a complaint to challenge the nearly $20 million salary the Philadelphia 76ers withheld for him, setting up a struggle significantly, sources told ESPN Saturday.

The claim – which will now move to the arbitration process – could have a bigger impact on the league in light of future NBA contract and mental health issues.

Philadelphia has repeatedly asserted that Simmons was in breach of his contract under a collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association and is entitled to a refund of any money advanced to him prior to the season. . The NBA and NBPA have been at odds on this and now the referee can set a precedent for how future contractual and mental health issues can be handled.

Sources say the application has been made with the team, the NBA and the NBPA this weekend.

The 76ers have asserted that Simmons breached his player contract by not showing up at the start of training camp and refusing to play throughout last season and the regular season. Simmons arrived in Philadelphia near the end of the season, but attributed his mental health to very limited participation in team activities.

The 76ers and Simmons disagreed about the level of access the team and their doctors were given Simmons to diagnose and confirm his mental health.

In an effort to resolve the matter without arbitration, representatives for Simmons have had several conversations with the Sixers since the blockbuster deal arrived in Brooklyn for James Harden on February 10, sources say. know. Those negotiations ended without a resolution, prompting the filing of a lawsuit, the sources said.

Simmons and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, requested the trade in a post-season meeting after the three-time All-Star keeper fell to the team for poor performance in the final. ended the Eastern Conference losing to Atlanta. Simmons, the #1 pick in the 2016 NBA draft, is one of the league’s top defenders and signed a five-year, $170 million maximum contract in 2019.

Starting with Simmons’ first paycheck on November 15, Philadelphia began reclaiming the $360,000 per game Simmons missed this season. Because Simmons received a $16.5 million advance of his $33 million paycheck for the season, there wasn’t enough money in each paycheck to cover the deductions for each game. .

Minus the deposit kept by the NBA, the 76ers withheld nearly $1.3 million of Simmons’ salary in each of his payslips. That continued since the transaction for the Nets, who were made to deduct wages from Simmons’ pay to go to the 76ers, the sources said. Because Simmons’ last paycheck was on April 30, the deductions will carry over to the season. Once again. Simmons will receive an advance of $8.25 million on July 1 and October 1.

The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement stipulates that a complaint must be initiated within 30 days of the claimant’s occurrence – or within 30 days of the fact of the matter being known to initiate a complaint, according to the CBA league.

It’s been six weeks since Simmons was traded from Philadelphia to Brooklyn, but Simmons representatives believe the transaction doesn’t trigger the 30-day deadline to initiate a complaint because the issue has been going on all season, sources say. news said.

Simmons is yet to play a game for the Nets this season. He had a previous back injury that flared up while he tried to strengthen his condition to debut with the Nets. Simmons, who hasn’t competed since a playoff loss in June, received an epidural to treat a herniated disc in his back last month. Sources said the Simmons return issue and related scans were revealed during commercial discussions and did not pose any significant long-term problems for the Nets at the time.

The injury that first affected Simmons during the spring of 2020 was interrupted by the pandemic. He also reported discomfort in his back when he reported it to the Sixers training camp in October. The injury has been evaluated and treated by Sixers team doctors, and he has been allowed to return to the squads. basketball activity soon after. That period was the only time Philadelphia did not find Simmons in breach of contract this season, the sources said.

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/33652726/sources-brooklyn-nets-ben-simmons-files-grievance-nearly-20-million-withheld-philadelphia-76ers Brooklyn Nets’ Ben Simmons files complaint to challenge nearly $20 million withheld by Philadelphia 76ers

Luke Plunkett

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