Nets Reveal Plans for Ben Simmons: Report

Ben Simmons

Getty Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets pre-game

The Brooklyn Nets have a decision to make about All-Star point guard Ben Simmons, who was unable to make his Nets debut because of a nagging back injury and “mental block.” Some have discussed dealing Simmons.

Now, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post, the team and Simmons appear ready to make something work.

“We will work together with the Nets on a summer plan,” a source close to Simmons said in Lewis’ story, published May 14. “Everyone is confident.”


Simmons in Brooklyn

Simmons, who underwent microdiscectomy surgery on May 4 to address a herniated L-4 disk in his lower back, is expected to endure three to four months of rehab, according to a May 4 tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Nets tweeted on May 5 that they expected Simmons to make a full recovery and be available for training camp in September.

In the meantime, according to Lewis’ story, the Nets would prefer Simmons to complete as much of his rehab as possible in Brooklyn in order to be close to the team.

In his May 11 end-of-season press conference, Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks updated the media on Simmons’ progress.

“In the communications I’ve had with him multiple times since the surgery, he’s feeling relief already, feeling great. He knows that, it goes back to that five months, he has a big buildup ahead of him to get ready and really contribute,” Marks told reporters. “Regarding Ben post-surgery, I don’t want to speak for him, but I can sense there’s a relief. There’s a new lease on life, so to speak. When you are able to take a problem and say, ‘That should be fixed and move that out of here and now it’s on to the rest.’”

Marks also spoke about concerns around Simmons’ mental health and how the Nets will support him.

“I don’t want to talk about someone’s mental health or mental performance. I’m going to let Ben address that at the correct time. I will say this: Whether it’s the NBA or whether [it’s] what everyone’s been going through, I look around and I’d love to [see] if there’s anyone out there … who hasn’t had some type of mental fatigue over the last two years,” Marks said. “This has not been easy for anybody. I’m not making an excuse for anybody in the pro sports area, but this is something where we all need support. And we’re coming through it. And same for Ben. We’re doing everything possible we can to get him around our group. That is the key. He needs to be in here, smell the gym again, around his friends, around his family and to participate in this and let us help him build a culture together. Build up together, build him back up.”


Steve Nash on Simmons Next Season

The Nets appear committed to building up Simmons, 25, and making him a major part of the team. At the Nets’ end-of-season press conference, coach Steve Nash explained how they hope to use him in their game plans.

“I think he plays both [point guard and point forward],” Nash told reporters on May 11. “I think he’s going to handle the ball, initiate offense, particularly in transition. He’s an incredible playmaker, but we have the luxury that Ben can also be a roller, a playmaker out of the pick and roll.”

Nash also discussed Simmons’ unique skill set, size and athleticism.

“He’s just such a well-rounded and versatile athlete and skilled, 6-10 player that I think it would be limiting to say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to handle the ball all the time. You have to facilitate the offense all the time,’” Nash said. “I think that’s what’s special about him is the varied skills he brings to the table, so yes he will facilitate and be the point guard. He will also sometimes be the center. Other times he will be the guy that’s just playing position-less basketball trying to create offense in the half court.”

With a smooth rehab in Brooklyn, Simmons appears to a place in the Nets’ plan. Can he help elevate the Nets to a new level?

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