Ben Simmons

Sixers, Ben Simmons Reach Settlement on Grievance

Simmons filed the grievance to recoup salary from games he missed in Philadelphia last season

Sixers and Simmons reach settlement on grievance originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

For many months, the bottom line was that Ben Simmons and the Sixers were fundamentally opposed.

However, the two sides have reached a resolution on a significant issue. The Sixers and Simmons have agreed to a settlement after the 26-year-old filed a grievance to recoup salary he was fined last season, a source confirmed Monday night to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The terms of the resolution are confidential. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news.  

The season after finishing second in Defensive Player of the Year voting, Simmons did not play a game. He sought a trade following the Sixers’ second-round playoff loss to the Hawks and held out of training camp. Though Simmons eventually returned to the team, head coach Doc Rivers removed him from a practice for being a “distraction” and the Sixers suspended him for their season opener, citing “conduct detrimental to the team.” Simmons later told his teammates he was not mentally ready to play.

Details about Simmons' status were murky. The Sixers fined him throughout the season for, in their view, not upholding many contractual obligations. ESPN reported the Sixers withheld nearly $20 million of his salary.

Simmons was not entirely absent from team activities. On Oct. 28, Rivers said the three-time All-Star attended that morning’s shootaround and had been working out. On Nov. 11, Rivers mentioned that Simmons was present at the Sixers’ film session. 

Still, a Simmons return to action in Philadelphia never appeared imminent. His agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, publicly criticized the Sixers. 

“I truly believe the fines, the targeting, the negative publicity shined on the issue — that’s very unnecessary and has furthered the mental health issues for Ben,” Paul told The Athletic's Shams Charania in November. “Either you help Ben, or come out and say he’s lying. Which one is it?”

The Sixers ultimately dealt Simmons to the Nets in February along with Seth Curry and Andre Drummond, acquiring James Harden. Simmons remained on the sidelines, experiencing back problems in his ramp-up, and underwent successful surgery in May. 

The Sixers will begin their preseason schedule with an Oct. 3 game in Brooklyn.

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