Nets newcomer Ben Simmons is expected to file a grievance against the 76ers to recoup some or all of the more than $20 million he lost by not playing this season, according to Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice.
Simmons did not play for the Sixers this season, citing mental health issues, before a trade to Brooklyn as part of the James Harden deal on Feb. 10. Simmons is expected to file the grievance soon. Per Neubeck, the move won’t necessarily come as surprise.
“Dating back to the fall, there have been many around the Sixers’ organization who have chosen to go radio silent on all things Simmons, aware that arbitration was a likely outcome for this process,” Neubeck wrote.
Simmons is expected to join his Nets teammates on the bench for Thursday’s game in Brooklyn. Reports suggest the 76ers will institute extra security, given the potential intense atmosphere.
“I don’t think he’s naive to think he’s not going to get some boos. I hope he enjoys it; it’s a part of the game,” Nets coach Steve Nash said, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “Yeah it’s great. He’s on our team, he needs to be with his teammates and get the whole Philly thing out of the way a little bit. I mean, it’s not going away, but the first time is always tough to deal with.”
Simmons is experiencing lower back stiffness, though could make his season debut next week, potentially against the Magic on March 15.
Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors wrote: “As Neubeck explains, the Sixers fined Simmons for each game he missed (costing him about $360K per game) because he didn’t meet with team doctors to discuss the mental health issues he cited as the reason for his absence and because the club never received documentation providing an explanation for his absence or details on his treatment plan. Neubeck’s sources likened the situation to a player suffering a physical injury and only consulting with an outside specialist, without keeping his team in the loop.”
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