The Philadelphia 76ers might’ve moved on from Ben Simmons back in February after they traded to three-time All-Star to the Brooklyn Nets to land James Harden and Paul Millsap. However, trading Simmons away didn’t signal the end of the Simmons saga in Philadelphia.
When Simmons moved on, the star guard field a grievance as expected. At the start of the 2021-2022 season, Simmons’ salary was moved into an escrow account, and he received fines for each team activity he missed.
Since Simmons wanted a trade following the 2021 playoff run, the star guard made it clear to the Sixers that he would hold out. As the Sixers struggled to find a trade partner early in the process, they had no choice but to keep Simmons on the roster.
Philly hoped that Simmons would return to the court at some point, but once the star guard showed face around the team, he held himself out from games, citing mental health as a reason he couldn’t play.
Following a trade to Brooklyn, Simmons was reportedly in the process of ramping up action as he planned to take the court for the Nets as the regular season was winding down. Unfortunately, a back injury prevented Simmons from making his Nets debut and eventually ended his season prematurely.
Despite not playing for the Sixers last season, Simmons will receive a portion of the salary that was initially withheld from him. The two parties reached an agreement recently, which will help Simmons recoup “nearly $20 million withheld from him as a result of his failure to play in games in the 2021-2022 season,” per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
While the grievance entered an arbitration process back in the spring, which hasn’t reached an official judgment, Simmons’ representatives and the Sixers settled on an agreement to end the process early. Now, the player and the organization can officially move on and go their separate ways as the Simmons saga concludes officially in Philadelphia.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.