Former Philadelphia 76ers no. 1 pick Ben Simmons last played on February 15 against the Miami Heat. On March 23, Brian Lewis of the New York Post provided the latest update on where Simmons is at, as Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn told him.
“Ben Simmons still not doing any team work, only individual work. (When) asked if it’s even feasible to get Simmons up to speed in the ten games they have left before the postseason, Jacque Vaughn says he’s not looking that far ahead,” Lewis reported.
After losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers that same day, the Nets have nine games left this season before the playoffs start. Simmons not participating in any team-related workouts is not a good sign if the Nets are hoping he’ll be back before the regular season ends. The lack of clarity in this situation makes it sound more likely that Simmons may not play another game this season.
Jaylen Brown Name-Drops Ben Simmons
In an interview with Logan Murdock of The Ringer, Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown mentioned Simmons when talking about what it was first like when he came into the league in 2016.
“I wanted to win; I wanted to also prove that I was the third pick of the draft,” Brown told Murdock. “At the time, when you’re young, you see all your counterparts out there doing all types of stuff. Ben Simmons in Philly, Brandon Ingram in L.A., they are in the same draft, and so you want to keep showing people that you are not a bust. You are of equal talent. So during that time, that’s all it was for me, just trying to make sure people knew that Jaylen could play.”
Simmons, who was the no. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, did not play in the 2016-17 season because of a foot injury, unlike Brown. Simmons, however went on to play the next season and become the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year.
The Celtics did not depend on Brown much during his rookie year, as he averaged 6.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 17.2 minutes. That was a stark contrast from how much the Sixers relied on Simmons during his rookie year when he averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds in 33.7 minutes the following season.
While Brown has since grown into an all-star, Simmons has fallen off quite a bit since being traded away by the Sixers.
Sixers Insider Believes Ben Simmons is Done With Nets
In one of Vaughn’s previous updates regarding Simmons on March 16, it was revealed that while Simmons was making progress, there was no timetable for when he’d come back.
“Simmons hasn’t had any setbacks and that he was on the court. Vaughn did not specify the setup,” Sharif Phillips-Keaton of Nets Wire tweeted. “Vaughn says that Simmons is progressing, but that there isn’t a timetable for Simmons’ return.”
In light of this, Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire tweeted that “He will never play another game for the Nets.”
It’s very possible never plays another game in a Nets uniform. Whether that’s only this season or going forward, Simmons’ future with the Nets, or the NBA in general, is something that seems to be up in the air.