ben simmons
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons has run out of big names to hide behind in Brooklyn. And this new nugget won’t help his cause.

The Nets had an opportunity to get rid of Simmons last summer without him ever taking the floor for them, according to The Daily News. And they would have gotten to stick it to the Knicks while doing so. The anecdote was nestled in a post-mortem on the end of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.

From The News:

The Nets had an opportunity to get involved in the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes, according to a source familiar with the Nets’ attempts to add talent to the roster this offseason. A source told the Daily News in October there was framework for a deal that would have sent Simmons to Utah, Mitchell to Miami and Bam Adebayo to Brooklyn.

It was the Nets who declined, and Simmons, due to lingering back issues that have impacted the integrity of his knee, has yet to string together an extended, impactful stretch of games. Head coach Jacque Vaughn is still working on getting Simmons to give his all for all the minutes he’s on the court.

MORE: Gregg Giannotti blasts Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving: ‘These guys suck’

The Nets have to regret this in hindsight. Also, imagine how much worse the backlash would have been for the Knicks if Pat Riley had gotten Mitchell with an assist from Sean Marks? What a world.

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James Kratch can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.