The Nets have gone through quite a few changes so far this season. They started the year with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant both on the roster, along with Steve Nash being the head coach. None of them are still in Brooklyn anymore. Do you know who still is, though? That’s right — Ben Simmons.
In a perfect world, though, the Nets would like it if Simmons played for another team. While he was excited to have a roster full of dudes who actually want to play for Brooklyn, Simmons himself hasn’t been playing a lot lately.
Heck, even head coach Jacque Vaughn recently said it’s going to be difficult for the Nets to figure out a way to effectively utilize him on the floor. I mean, they don’t actually have to do that, right? Brooklyn is still in contention, so shouldn’t the charge be whatever is best for the team?
I’d imagine that’s part of it, but the Nets may also want him on the floor and being productive to build his trade value. Something he apparently had none of approaching the NBA trade deadline last week.
Here’s what Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports had to say about the Nets’ future intentions with Simmons:
What becomes of Simmons and the final two years and nearly $80 million remaining on his contract after this season is of course another dynamic to monitor in Brooklyn. The Nets are widely expected to gauge what trade market could materialize for Simmons after his disappointing campaign comes to a close. The three-time All-Star is still far from the form he exhibited during his best days in Philadelphia.
That’s a lot of money for a player who doesn’t like taking open layups these days.
In his first season back since missing all of 2021-22, Simmons is averaging 7.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists in 26.4 minutes per night. Those numbers are a far cry from his career marks: 14.8, 7.8, 7.5, and 32.9, respectively.
Simmons’ time on the court has been much less robust recently, too. After not playing in five games between January 28th and February 6th, his minutes have dwindled. He was on the floor for nearly 27 minutes against the Phoenix Suns. That dropped to 20 against the Chicago Bulls, 16 against the Philadelphia 76ers, and 13 against the Knicks.
Brooklyn may just try to dump him at the first opportunity, unlike last summer. If they don’t start getting him on the floor to see if he can turn things around, that may be the only option the Nets have.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.