Ben Simmons Receives Credit for 2021/22 season

Swingman Ben Simmons has received a year of service credit for 2021/22 despite missing the entire season, league sources tell Zach Lowe of ESPN.

Ben Simmons Credit
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

“The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement, released late last month ahead of free agency, came with a previously undisclosed side letter indicating Ben Simmons has received credit for a year of service for the season in which he held out from the Philadelphia 76ers and was eventually traded to the Brooklyn Nets.”

A year of service can impact how much money a player makes. Whether he’s available for the veteran mimimum or a maximum-salary contract. As well as the many other benefits. Simmons now officially has seven years of service under his belt. Even though, he has technically only played in five of those. Simmons missed the entire 16/17 campaign, which would’ve been his rookie year, due to a foot injury.

“Simmons’ service situation for ’21/22 is intended to be viewed in isolation and is not meant to be a precedent for future cases.”

sources tell ESPN.

Ben Simmons had requested a trade during the 2021 offseason. He then refused to play for the Sixers that season, citing that mental health was the reason for not engaging with the team. He was later traded to the Nets at the 2022 deadline in a swap for James Harden. Though he didn’t play for Brooklyn that season either due to knee and back issues.

The 76ers withheld that portion of Simmons’ salary, which Lowe cites as a breach of contract. Simmons and the NBPA filed a grievance to recoup the withheld money, reaching a settlement with the Sixers last summer that paid Simmons a portion of the $20MM that was withheld.

Harden has now asked for his own trade out of Philly, though the situation is different. The 33-year-old is entering the final year of his current deal. Though, there is also now a rule in effect to keep Harden on the court. A new clause in the CBA states that if Harden refuses to participate in training camp or play in a minimum of 30 games,  the Sixers could potentially block him from entering free agency and signing with any other team, including international clubs.

That said, all reports indicate that Harden intends to play until he is traded.

Due to knee and back issues, Simmons was limited to 42 games in 2022-23 season. The Nets remain hopeful that he’ll be full healthy this upcoming season.

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