Ben Simmons and the 76ers have reached a settlement agreement on the grievance the All-Star guard filed to recoup a portion of the nearly $20M withheld from him as a result of his failure to play last season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
The Sixers maintained Simmons breached his contract upon failing to show up for the start of training camp and refusing to play in the preseason and regular season prior to the trade deadline swap with the Nets. Simmons cited mental health reasons for his limited participation in team activities. He also was diagnosed with a back injury that prevented him from playing with Brooklyn last season.
Both sides agreed to a confidentiality agreement on the exact financial settlement, Wojnarowski adds.
The Players Association backed Simmons in the grievance, which was shared with the Sixers, the league, and the NBPA in early April. The issue was to be arbitrated, which could have set a precedent on how future matters regarding mental health and contracts might be handled. Instead, the two sides reached an agreement before an arbiter could hand down a decision.
Simmons had a cap hit of just over $33M last season.
During the season, Sixers officials claimed that its doctors were given limited access to Simmons to diagnose and confirm those mental health issues.
After Simmons was traded, his representatives had several conversations with the Sixers but those talks ended without a resolution.
Beginning last November 15, the Sixers withheld $360K for each game Simmons missed (1/91.6th of his overall salary). Simmons received a $16.5MM advance on his salary during the offseason, thus there wasn’t enough money in each paycheck to cover the per-game deductions.
Along with the amount for escrow that was withheld by the NBA, the Sixers deducted nearly $1.3M of Simmons’ salary from each paycheck.