NBA

76ers withhold $8.25M of Simmons’ pay

The gap between the Philadelphia 76ers and point guard Ben Simmons continues to widen, with the Sixers withholding $8.25 million from his salary this week.

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76ers withhold $8.25M of Simmons’ pay
David Dow

This ends speculations about whether or not the team would give the payment, after Simmons' stubborn refusal to return to the  Sixers.

This amount comprises 25% of the Australian’s $33 million salary. He had already received the first installment of $8.25 million three months ago.

ESPN’s Tim Bontemps reports that the money is being held in escrow, and that any fines that may ensue from his refusal to play will be taken out of this amount.

The money is likely to be given to him if he decides to rejoin the team.

Simmons refuses to budge

Simmons has already missed the team’s media day and first week of training camp in Philadelphia, and is reportedly ready to sit out the entire 2021-22 season to force a trade from the Sixers.

He appears to be unrelenting in his stance, refusing to talk to his Philly teammates who wanted to fly over to LA to convince him to come back to the team.

Simmons had expressed that he no longer wants to play with center Joel Embiid, and that he thinks a game plan built around the seven-footer does not go well with his own playing style. Embiid for his part said that on the contrary, they have built the team to fit Simmons’ needs, and that despite recent developments, he still wants him on the team.

The 25-year-old signed a five-year, $177 million contract in 2019, so he won’t be a free agent until 2025, leaving a trade as his only hope of leaving the 76ers. But with the very public nature of the impasse and Simmons’ steep asking price, it is unlikely that the Sixers will easily obtain an acceptable trade offer.

The 76ers will have their first preseason game on Monday Oct. 4 in Toronto against the Raptors, and their regular season opener on the road against the new Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 20.