Ben Simmons Contract: The Nets Are Paying the PG $35 Million to Dress Up and Ride the Bench

Ben Simmons may have played his final game as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.

After relegating the struggling point guard to the bench just a few weeks ago, the Nets are reportedly planning on shutting Simmons down for the remainder of the season. Head coach Jacque Vaughn has shown no interest in playing the 26-year-old significant minutes since Brooklyn traded Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving at the NBA trade deadline, and now the Nets will begin the process of freeing themselves from his massive contract.

That won’t be an easy task, as Simmons has never looked less confident on the basketball court, and the Nets will essentially pay him $35 million this season to ride the bench.

Ben Simmons contract

Ben Simmons looks on during a game.
Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during a game against the Detroit Pistons | Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Just a few years ago, signing Ben Simmons to a max contract extension was a no-brainer for the Philadelphia 76ers. The former No. 1 overall pick won Rookie of the Year in the 2017-18 season and was named an All-Star for the first time in 2019.

After the 2018-19 season, the Sixers signed Simmons to a five-year, $177,243,360 million contract extension, and no one batted an eye. The following year, Simmons put up his best season as a pro and cracked the All-NBA Third Team. I know it’s hard to remember considering how the past two seasons have gone for Simmons, but this guy was widely considered a top-15 player in the NBA just three years ago.

His game has completely evaporated since then, but his contract still remains.

Simmons is due $35,448,672 in base salary this season, per Spotrac. He earned $30,559,200 in 2020-21 and $33,003,936 in 2021-22 despite sitting out the entire year. There are still two years remaining on Simmons’ deal after this season. He’s due $37,893,408 next year and $40,338,144 in 2024-25, which is frankly a disaster for the Nets.

Simmons’ $35.4 million salary is the 19th-highest mark in the NBA this season. Players such as Devin Booker, Nikola Jokic, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, and Joel Embiid are all making less money than Simmons this year. All five are vying for spots on the All-NBA Team, while Simmons isn’t even good enough to see the floor on a now-rebuilding Nets team.

The Nets are paying Ben Simmons $35 million to dress up and ride the bench

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Simmons’ disaster of a year has gone from bad to worse in the last month. The point guard has missed seven of Brooklyn’s last 12 games due to a lingering knee injury, and even when he’s healthy enough to suit up, he’s playing less than 20 minutes per game off the bench and can’t be trusted to play in the fourth quarter.

Now, the Nets are reportedly giving up on their failed Simmons experiment. According to a tweet from Jack Settleman of Snapback Sports, the Nets are planning on shutting Simmons down for the remainder of the season. Now, Settleman isn’t a reporter on the same level as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski or Stadium’s Shams Charania, so we’ll have to wait for a verified report from them or an announcement from the team itself.

But the report is at least believable. Simmons isn’t helping the Nets win games right now, and he surely isn’t helping his future trade value with how poorly he’s performing. Brooklyn would be better off shutting the PG down and letting him do what he does best: ride the bench and dress up in his most extravagant fits.

Simmons would be much happier staying away from the spotlight and showing off his most expensive chains on the sideline. The Nets just have to pay him $35 million to do so, so it’s hard to argue there’s a worse contract in the NBA right now.