While we all expected the saga between Ben Simmons and his former team to be over at this point, unfortunately, it has just taken a legal turn. According to ESPN, Ben Simmons has filed a grievance against the Philadelphia 76ers to try and force them to hand over the nearly US$20 million (AU$27 million) in salary withheld from him this season.
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) will support Simmons through the coming arbitration process, The New York Post reports. The collective bargaining agreement specifies that Ben Simmons was required to file this grievance within 30 days of the occurrence or when it became known. However, the Aussie star’s agent Rich Paul believes that the trade didn’t trigger that window, as this was an ongoing issue.
Ben Simmons, who still has not played a second of basketball this year, was traded to the Brooklyn Nets back in February through a deal that sent James Harden to Philadelphia. Simmons reportedly cited mental health issues as his reason for missing the regular season with the 76ers, and now reportedly has a back injury that’s preventing his debut for the Nets.
The Brooklyn Nets are attempting to recondition him for basketball after he spent all year doing absolutely nothing. Ben Simmons has recently resumed light on-court workouts, but it was recently reported that Simmons is still several steps from being cleared to practice. He’s expected to miss the rest of the regular season, as well as the play-in tournament that the Nets will need to compete in to make the playoffs this year.
The Brooklyn Nets are struggling without Ben Simmons, currently sitting at 10th in the Eastern Conference. Simmons’ teammates Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have both expressed an eagerness to have him out on the court with them. Until then, we’ll have to wait and see whether he gets paid for the games he didn’t even put his hand up for.