In the course of the closing minutes of an in depth Recreation 7 of the NBA Jap Convention Semifinals, Ben Simmons caught a go beneath the basket of the Atlanta Hawks, with a wide-open dunk accessible to him. Basketball followers know what got here subsequent: Simmons opted to not go for the slam, as an alternative passing out to a teammate. The 76ers solely scored one level on the possession and went on to lose the sport and the collection.
Instantly within the post-game press convention, Simmons was ripped by his teammates and training employees. When requested if Simmons could possibly be the purpose guard for a championship crew, Sixers coach Doc Rivers said, “I do not know the reply to that.” And Simmons’s teammate Joel Embiid implied Simmons’ decision was the turning level of the crew’s loss.
Naturally, these feedback did not sit properly with Simmons. All through the summer season, rumblings of discontent from his camp spilled over into the media. That is continued into the season, too. Simmons has requested a commerce, is not enjoying in video games, and was kicked out of form after refusing to cooperate throughout a crew drill.
What Happens To His Contract?
Complicating the complete scenario is the actual fact Simmons signed a five-year, $170 million contract in 2019. Which means he is nonetheless owed greater than $110 million on his deal, together with simply over $33 million this 12 months.
The method Simmons’s deal is structured, he made $8,250,984, or 25% of his wage, on July 1. He was due one other $8,250,984 on October 1, and the Sixers withheld that money. The remaining half of his wage is because of be paid each different week starting on November 15.
Due to the NBA’s collective bargaining settlement, gamers get fined for unexcused absences, and the fines develop the extra time is missed. The first unexcused missed follow is $2,500; the second is $5,000; the third is $7,500; fines for added practices after that may enhance even additional. If Simmons missed coaching, just like the crew’s media, business-of-basketball, and anti-gambling coaching classes, he’ll forfeit $20,000 for each he missed.
Including one other twist to issues: Simmons recently told the team he isn’t mentally ready to play basketball proper now. Simmons does have a “psychological incapacity” clause in his contract, so it is doable he may recoup some or the entire cash he is misplaced because of fines.
Will the Sixers attempt to show Simmons truly was mentally prepared? Is that even doable? Psychological well being has grow to be an even bigger precedence within the league over the previous few seasons, with a number of notable gamers elevating consciousness round psychological wellness, together with DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Love, and Paul George. If the Sixers attempt to struggle that battle, they’d doubtless lose it.
The Sixers should look to commerce Simmons to recoup some worth for him. Even when he stays on the crew, so long as he does not brazenly state he is 100% and solely sitting out as a result of he does not need to play, he is most likely going to earn the cash from his contract.
Nevertheless it seems, you possibly can guess this example will probably be a serious speaking level the subsequent time gamers and homeowners are on the bargaining desk.