Nets Star Ben Simmons Gets Bad News on NBA Future

Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets

Getty Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets.

Ben Simmons’ debut season with the Brooklyn Nets is officially over. He appeared in 42 games and averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists. The Nets’ star was supposed to be an integral part of the team competing for a title this season. But following the blockbuster trades that sent Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant out of town, Simmons is the latest blow in an unfortunate series of events for Brooklyn this season.

Following Nets practice on Tuesday, head coach Jacque Vaughn said Simmons is scheduled to begin a rehab program to correct his injured back.

“Ben will not be joining us the rest of the year and through the playoffs,” Vaughn said after practice on March 28 via ESPN. “After consulting with our doctors, and multiple specialists, he’s just going to begin a rehab program. Our doctors and the specialists feel and think that he’ll have a full recovery so that starts now.”

Though the impingement in his back also ruled him out for much of the 2022 season and eventually required him to have an offseason corrective procedure, Vaughn says there are no discussions of Simmons having a second surgery during this offseason.

“As recommended right now and by the doctors, that is not in sight. That’s the recommendation right now,” Vaughn said.

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Jacque Vaughn Details Ben Simmons’ Injury Rehab

When the Nets decided that Simmons would not join the team post-All-Star break, the initial reason was due to knee soreness that he was experiencing. Simmons had begun progressing toward a return, but amid his injury recovery, the Nets star suffered a flare-up in his previously injured back, and from there everything went awry, according to Vaughn.

“So, during that time, he was strengthening, trying to get back on the court, doing some things on the court. And that was just part of his kind of reassessment,” Vaughn said via AM New York.

“That’s when we got the impingement. So that started this next layer of going to see specialists. So that was kind of the sequence of the strengthening, which took part to get him to reassessing, and the reassessing got him to specialists. That’s how we got to today.”

Jacque Vaughn Sounds off on Ben Simmons’ Future

Simmons’ stats are actually pretty well-balanced. Aside from scoring, he is above average in every other area of the floor. But with two years and nearly $80 million left on his current deal, the Nets need a lot more production from their star forward. But despite a disappointing last year and a half with Simmons on their roster Vaughn says he and the Nets believe Simmons can get back to playing at an All-Star level.

“That’s our goal. And overall, you just think about, he’s 6-10, athletic, what he can do and bring to our team, how he can help our group on both ends of the floor,” Vaughn told reporters via the New York Daily News.

“We want to be involved in that. We want to see that. I want to coach Ben and I want to be able to push Ben to get back to the all-defensive team and impact our team on both ends of the floor. So that’s the goal going forward.”

The last two and a half seasons have been quite the roller coaster for Simmons. He elected to sit out the first half of last season because he demanded a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, which they initially declined. He eventually got them to oblige and was traded to Brooklyn last February.

After such a long layoff, Simmons’ needed a ramp-up period before returning to the court to make his Nets debut last season. During that process, Brooklyn’s medical staff discovered a herniated disc in his back that ultimately held him out last season. This season feels like the same nightmare all over again.

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