With Ben Simmons ‘probably’ done for the season, what do the Nets do now?
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has not been effectively ruled out for the rest of this season, but on Saturday, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn said that Simmons will probably not play for Brooklyn for the rest of this season because of a nerve impingement in his back. This news was not unexpected as Simmons has been hurt on and off throughout this season.
Ever since Simmons came to the Nets, it has been a story of disappointment and unmet expectations. In the context of this season, Simmons took a step by playing after getting back surgery once he came to Brooklyn. However, he has played below what the Nets were hoping for when they traded James Harden for him last season.
Simmons, whose career numbers are 14.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game, played 42 out of a possible 75 games this season. In those games, he has averaged just 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game. However, despite the low averages, there were a few games that Simmons had during this season that gave the franchise and its fans hope.
For example, Simmons had a game on Nov. 20 against the Memphis Grizzlies where he had 22 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in a 12-point win. It was clear that Simmons was capable of being the All-Star that he was for the majority of his time with the Philadelphia 76ers, but he lacked aggression most of the time and it seemed that he couldn’t stay healthy for any significant amount of time.
With Simmons probably out for the rest of this season, it seems that it will be another lost season for him that he will probably have to rehab from and that could take away from his skill development. Simmons is owed $37.8 million in 2023-2024 and $40.3 million in 2024-2025. Now that the superstar era is over in Brooklyn and the Nets have pieces for the future like Mikal Bridges, Nic Claxton, and Cam Johnson along with decent draft capital, it may be time to figure out where Simmons fits on the team moving forward.
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