Nets Get Notable Update From Ben Simmons’ Agent Amid Lost Season: Report

Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets

Getty Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets.

Things have not worked out for the Brooklyn Nets and Ben Simmons but could be trending up.

“Without getting into specifics, what I’ve learned in all these conversations is that what Ben experienced here is considered to be part of the recovery from his previous procedure,” Simmons’ new agent Bernie Lee told Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “This step at this point in time is being taken in partnership with the team to support Ben, to allow him to really get himself physically prepared to begin the start of next season — in an effort to lead the Nets in the way he’s shown over the course of his young career he’s capable of doing.”

The glimpses of the player Simmons was before joining the Nets have been few and far between since he was traded for James Harden who has gone on to have an All-NBA-caliber season for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Simmons’ on-court inconsistency has been noted by his head coach, Jacque Vaughn,  who struggled to work the 6-foot-10 former All-Defensive stalwart into his reworked rotations.

“Trying to figure out what lineup fits around Ben – what position fits for Ben, how we can make him look good at every opportunity – I’m still trying to figure that out,” Vaughn said via the Nets’ official YouTube channel on February 13. “That’s on me to figure that out. But I think, overall as a team, we’re going to try different lineups to figure this out.”

Simmons played just two more games before being shut down for the rest of the season.

He finishes with his fewest games played in a season he began healthy but the additional time away is expected to get Simmons back on the floor in time for the start of the 2023-24 season.

“For sure,” said Lee who also explained, “The NBA schedule is obviously rigorous and not forgiving to the need for patience at times, and Ben made every effort to be available to help his team in every way as much as he could.”

Ben Simmons Not Out of the Woods

Lee’s prognosis is very positive and bodes well for the Nets since it’s unlikely they will be able to move on from the remaining $78-plus million he is owed over the next two years without giving up additional assets and even then it could be tricky.

They would have to accept pennies on the dollar if they feel motivated to do something this offseason for whatever reason.

Aside from the financial aspect as motivation to move on, Lee was also “non-committal” when asked if Simmons would require another surgery on his balky back, according to Lewis.

“We feel like we have a very pragmatic plan in place that will lead to Ben’s return to his highest form, which is what everyone clearly wants,” Lee said, per Lewis’ report. “I have zero doubts in his ability to do this based on the information we’ve been given.”

There is also the input of another specialist who suggested that another, more minor, procedure is likely.

“[It’s] the most likely scenario,” Dr. Rahul Shah of Premier Orhthopedic Associates said, per Lewis. “The surgery that he had has a roughly 15 to 20 percent chance of a repeat disc herniation. This isn’t out of the ordinary, so we have to go with the odds that this is going to be a repeat disc herniation.

“If that’s the case, the reality is he has a good chance of getting a smaller procedure done, and it will just take a rehab that will be a little bit longer than the rest of this season.”

Another surgery would obviously delay a recovery expected to last through the end of the year.

Simmons missed last season with a back injury in addition to mental health issues. He finishes the season averaging 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists with 1.3 steals – all career-lows.

Ben Simmons Has Asked for Patience

“People forget, I had back surgery,” Simmons said via YES Network on YouTube following a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on December 24. “It’s not something that’s just automatically you’re good and you’re able to go out there and be yourself. It’s something I’m trying to build and just keep adding up because come playoffs, I gotta be that engine to attack and find my guys.”

Simmons clearly understands what makes him such a unique player outside of his size and athleticism, neither of which he consistently used to his advantage during his inaugural season with the Nets.

He also isn’t the only one who thinks there needs to be some patience practiced as he recovers from a serious procedure.

“People are so hard on Ben Simmons,” Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. told Mike Singer of the Denver Post last November. “I know what he’s going through.”

Porter has a laundry list of injuries all his own not the least of which included a back surgery that erased his entire rookie season and has led to three procedures.

“People don’t really care,” Porter told Singer. “You could say it’s a process all you want, but people just want to see production, here and now. … It takes a while for explosiveness and athleticism and all those things to come back.”

The Nets just have to hope that means by the start of next season as Simmons’ agent suggests.