ben simmons
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons was largely able to skate by without much fuss while sharing a locker room with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. No more, though. The Nets have moved on from the superstars and their drama. Now all eyes will be on Simmons and his. And Monday’s loss to the Knicks suggests it will be a rocky ride.

Simmons mustered two points, three rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes of work. He took just two shots, passed up another wide-open look and then skipped out on speaking to reporters after the game.

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Oh, and Nets coach Jacque Vaughn admitted he does not really know how the Nets are going to use him moving forward. His full comments, via ESPN:

It’s going to be some work that we have to do. Because you just take a look at what the lineups could potentially look like. You put another big next to Ben, then you got to figure out what the spacing is around him. Then if you put another playmaker next to him, then you got to figure out what Ben looks like without the basketball. Then if you go small with Ben, then you have to figure out can you rebound enough with him?

So, the challenges are ahead of us. We’ll look them head-on. We’ll figure it out. We have the personnel to figure it out. Whether it is me mixing and matching throughout different pieces of the game, and allowing him to have a group and run with a group, that part we’ll figure out, but you see the challenges that lie ahead.

The whole thing is just astonishing. Simmons was a No. 1-overall pick and is a three-time All-Star. And they can’t find a place for him on this mish-mash, blown-up Nets roster. What a mess. The Nets should have taken that trade when they could have.

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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.