Ben Simmons missed the 76ers’ media day. He has missed practice all week. If Philadelphia has already held its annual media, business-of-basketball and anti-gambling trainings, he has missed those, too.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement denotes moderate penalties for each of those unexcused absence. For example, the first missed practice triggers a $2,500 fine, the second missed practice a $5,000 fine, third missed practice a $7,5000 fine and each subsequent practice “such discipline as is reasonable under the circumstances.” The missed trainings cost $20,000 each.
But Simmons has also indicated he’ll continue to hold out until traded.
So, the 76ers are apparently withholding the $8,250,984 (25% of his $33,003,936 salary) Simmons was due today.
Simmons already received the first $8,250,984 installment of his salary July 1. The other half is (was?) scheduled to come every other week beginning Nov. 15.
But the $8,250,984 due today has become a major sticking point.
the Philadelphia 76ers do not intend to pay Simmons on Friday, league sources told Bleacher Report.
In turn, there have been growing whispers this week among NBA sources with knowledge of the situation that Simmons could respond by actually reporting to Philadelphia in the coming days, but maintaining that he is injured and unable to compete.
Prediction: Simmons will eventually get this money. Plus interest. However, minus the fines he has already accrued and will accrue.
It’s just difficult to get away with fining a player for transgressions he hasn’t yet committed. The 76ers are apparently fed up enough to try, though. Expect this to get appealed then arbitrated.
Simmons reporting and claiming he’s injured – maybe even undergoing surgery to clean up some lingering issue – always looked possible. It’s the playbook seemingly used by Mo Williams and threated by Kyrie Irving. How could Philadelphia fine Simmons if he’s physically unable to play? An accurate diagnosis of Simmons’ health would be difficult to prove.
Maybe the 76ers accept Simmons’ injury excuse but force him to actually show up at training camp. However, think Joel Embiid or anyone else there wants Simmons hanging around? Of course, if Philadelphia just tells Simmons to stay home, that would effectively end the team’s ability to fine him.
This is becoming an even bigger mess.