Ben Simmons is (potentially) Paying Over $1,000,000 to NOT Play for the Sixers.

Ben Simmons is the latest disgruntled NBA All-Star looking for a new team. What makes this situation slightly different is that the Philadelphia 76ers were seemingly onboard with moving the three time All-Star and two time all defense team until their astronomically high asking price wasn’t met by any of his potential suitors. With training camp soon approaching, Ben Simmons (via his representatives) has declared that he has no intention of ever wearing a 76ers jersey again, and will not attending training camp as a result. 

By not attending training camp, Simmons is jeopardizing quite a bit of money due to the NBA’s and the Team’s personal policy regarding player absencses in these circumstances. Here is Article 6 (regarding player conduct) of the NBA’s Collective bargaining agreement (2017): 

6.1 Player Conduct.

  In addition to any other rights a Team or the NBA may have by contract (including but not limited to the rights set forth in paragraphs 9 and 16 of the Uniform Player Contract) or by law, when a player fails or refuses, without proper and reasonable cause or excuse, to render the services required by a Player Contract or this Agreement…

Should Ben Simmons fail to appear for training camp on Monday, he would be refusing to render services to the Philadelphia 76ers, thus allowing the team to take action in the form of fines. 

How would those fines work? Well under 6.2 of the CBA it states the following:

6.2 Practices.

  1. When a player, without proper and reasonable excuse, fails to attend a practice session scheduled by his Team, he shall be subject to the following discipline: (i) for the first missed practice during a Season – $2,500; (ii) for the second missed practice during such Season – $5,000; (iii) for the third missed practice during such Season – $7,500; and (iv) for the fourth (or any additional) missed practice during such Season – such discipline as is reasonable under the circumstances.
  2. Notwithstanding Section 2(a) above, when a player, without proper and reasonable excuse, refuses or intentionally fails to attend any practice session scheduled by his Team, he shall be subject to such discipline as is reasonable under the circumstances.

Additionally, the mecca of basketball news and information, Adrian Wojnarowski, has stated that the 76ers would levy further fines and penalties for Ben Simmons’s refusal to attend training camp. 

All things considered, Ben stands to lose about $1.3 million dollars should he not be in attendance from Monday onward. 

NBA circles have been including Simmons in hypothetical trade proposals since before last season, but under the current conditions it seems like this is likely to end in the short term. However, some obstacles are the 76ers absurd asking price (cornerstone young players & a bounty of draft picks), and teams becoming wary as to what they are truly receiving in a player like Simmons. A team long rumored to be interested in Simmons has been the Warriors. However, they have all but withdrawn their name from contention after owner Joe Lacob questioned Simmons’ fit with the franchise: 

“I think we are always looking at everything to see if we can improve our team. We would always look,” Lacob said. “In some ways, [a trade for Simmons] doesn’t really fit what we’re doing. He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know. He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond [Green]. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another.”

An interesting note in the grand scheme of things is that Ben Simmons, and his super star agent Rich Paul of Klutch , negotiated his $147 million dollar extension to have each season be 50% paid by October 1st. So of (approximately) $17 million due to Ben on October 1st, he would likely have to give a million or so back to the franchise/NBA by the time the season starts.

It is definitely a point of interest within the NBA community to see where Ben Simmons ultimately ends up, and whether this will be a tactic deployed by players in the future.

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