Philadelphia 76ers reach settlement agreement with Ben Simmons

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Ben Simmons
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 05: Philadelphia 76ers Guard Ben Simmons (25) looks on during warmups before the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 05, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers and their former player, now Brooklyn Net, Ben Simmons, have, at long last, reached a settlement agreement on the grievance filed by the three-time All-Star, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The amount of the settlement has not been made public after both sides agreed to confidentiality, preferring to move on from the matter to focus on the future. This resolution has been a long time coming, with the dramatics surrounding the situation lasting for over a year.

A brief history

It’s difficult to say exactly when the downfall of Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers’ relationship began, but the common answer is around when talks of the Sixers offering Simmons for James Harden began. It serves no purpose to claim what either side felt, but it’s fair to suggest that the event affected the relationship in a strong way.

From there, the former Sixers star famously struggled in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks, leading to negative comments by members of the coaching staff and Simmons’ own teammates. After these events unfolded, it was clear that the team and their former number one overall pick were not longed for each other. The only question was how long before a move was made.

After Simmons refused to play for, practice with, or for the most part speak to the team, the situation effectively sat in limbo until Daryl Morey, and the Philadelphia 76ers found a trade they were comfortable with. In a twist that is both shocking and not shocking at all, the eventual move was for the man who indirectly started it all, James Harden.

A matter of pure stubbornness on both sides — not that stubbornness is inherently evil — the Sixers and Simmons both had their wish. The former had finally landed James Harden, while the latter left Philadelphia and was no longer a member of the organization.

The only matter left at hand was that of the payment Simmons would receive. One of the ugly turns this story took occurred when the Philadelphia 76ers began fining for his absence.

Many were split on the Sixers’ right to do so just. Similar arguments were had surrounding Simmons’ decision to sit out, his decision to not utilize the Sixers’ medical staff, and his refusal to provide the team with documents proving his treatment (as is typical of any type of outside treatment received).

The ethics of all this can continue to be debated, but the focal point of today’s conversation is around what came next. Not the trade that sent Simmons to Brooklyn and reunited Daryl Morey with James Harden but rather the grievance filed against the Philadelphia 76ers by Ben Simmons.

After the deal was completed, Simmons and his team sought the money that was withheld during his absence, claiming they were owed such. This came two months after ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported a source close to Simmons said, “We don’t give a f— about the money…”

Philadelphia was unsurprisingly intent on not allowing Simmons to recoup his salary as he did not perform the duties laid out in his contract and thus the discussion began.

The verdict Benjamin Simmons v. the Philadelphia 76ers

In the end, both sides reached an agreement on a figure they felt comfortable with and decided against disclosing it to avoid any further attention to the issue. It seems as though the goal for Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers will be to do their best to move on from here.

This could very well be the final chapter in this book between the Philadelphia 76ers and Simmons — save the fact that they are now divisional opponents. Hopefully, that remains the case so the Sixers can resume focusing on their top priority, bringing the city of Philadelphia a championship.