Nets' Ben Simmons files grievance against 76ers: report

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Ben Simmons cropped 3/10/22
Ben Simmons cropped 3/10/22

Nets PG/PF Ben Simmons has filed a grievance against the Philadelphia 76ers, according to a report Saturday by ESPN. The grievance now goes to the arbitration process and will challenge roughly $20 million in salary withheld by the Sixers.

The filing -- made late this week with the team, NBA and NBPA, which remain at odds on this issue -- "could have larger league implications amid future issues of mental health matters and NBA contracts," according to the report.

On one hand, the 76ers have stood behind the notion that Simmons breached his contract under the collective bargaining agreement and "had the right to recoup the money advanced to him before the season," the report said.

Simmons did not show up to training camp, arriving near the end of preseason. He cited his mental health as the reason for not participating in team activities with the 76ers.

The two sides subsequently disagreed on whether or not the team's doctors were able to diagnose and affirm Simmons' mental health.

The 76ers then traded Simmons, C Andre Drummond, SG Seth Curry and two future first-round NBA Draft picks to the Nets for PG James Harden in a Feb. 10 blockbuster deal.

Simmons' representatives and the 76ers "had several conversations" since then "to resolve the matter without arbitration," but "those talks ended without a resolution, promoting the filing of the grievance," according to the report.

Simmons has not yet played for the Nets, experiencing a back issue while ramping up his conditioning. He is reportedly eyeing a return for the playoffs after resuming light on-court workouts, and opened up about the mental-health aspect Feb. 15 when the Nets introduced him.

"For me, it was just making sure mentally I was right to get out there and play again," Simmons said. "So that's something I've been dealing with. And it wasn't about the fans or coaches or comments made by anybody. It was just a personal thing for me. ... And that organization knew that, so it's something that I continue to deal with. I'm getting there and getting to the right place to get back on the floor."