On March 24, NBA Insider Chris Haynes revealed that former Philadelphia 76ers’ No. 1 pick Ben Simmons would be out indefinitely due to a nerve impingement in his back, with no timeline for his return to the Brooklyn Nets.
The next day, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn revealed that “in all honesty, he’s probably not going to join us for (the) rest of the year,” per Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
Given that Simmons has had a history of back issues – having opted for back surgery last May – and with only nine games left in the season, it’s not all too shocking to see that he will miss the rest of the season.
In 42 games with the Nets this season, Simmons averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists while shooting 56.6% from the field, which was nowhere near the numbers that he put up during his days with the Sixers.
Sixers Insider Reiterates That Ben Simmons is Done With Nets
After news came out that Simmons was expected to miss the rest of the regular season, Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire tweeted that he doesn’t believe Simmons will ever play for the Nets again.
This is not the first time that Carlin has said this. Carlin mentioned something similar when the following was said by Sharif Phillips-Keaton of Nets Wire.
“Simmons hasn’t had any setbacks, and that he was on the court. Vaughn did not specify the setup,” tweeted Phillips-Keaton. “Vaughn says that Simmons is progressing, but that there isn’t a timetable for Simmons’ return.”
“He will never play another game for the Nets,” Carlin responded.
Simmons’ tenure with the Nets has not been a smooth ride for them from the start, as he didn’t play a game for them after they traded James Harden in exchange for him, among others, last season. Then Simmons managed to play only half a season where he put up numbers that weren’t even close to what he was putting up with the Sixers.
At this point, things may have progressed to the point where we may not have to ask if he’ll ever play for the Nets again, but if he’ll ever play in the NBA again.
Jaylen Brown Name-Drops Ben Simmons
Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown came in the same draft as Simmons in 2016. Having been the third pick in the draft, Brown wanted to prove he was on the same level as Simmons, who was selected first by the Sixers in that draft.
In an interview with Logan Murdock of The Ringer, Brown mentioned Simmons when talking about what it was first like when he first entered the NBA.
“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.”
Though they came in the same draft, Brown and Simmons did not play their rookie season the same year.