What should the Brooklyn Nets do about Ben Simmons?

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons remains the team’s biggest question, according to an article published by Bleacher Report on Thursday. Simmons has been one of the most polarizing athletes in recent memory because of how unique his career arc has been compared to most players considered to be All-Star level players.

Simmons came to the Nets in the James Harden trade because of how dissatisfied both players were with their current situations. Simmons, however, took it one step further than Harden by holding out because he did not feel comfortable playing for the Philadelphia 76ers any more due to his mental health issues.

Even though he was an All-Star in Philadelphia, Simmons has been anything but during his time in Brooklyn. This season alone, not only has Simmons performed well below his career numbers in essentially every category, he has also missed 17 of a possible 59 games for the Nets for a variety of injuries. Simmons missed Friday’s 131-87 loss to the Chicago Bulls due to left knee soreness and according to head coach Jacque Vaughn, Simmons will miss Sunday’s contest against the Atlanta Hawks for the same reason.

Vaughn was asked if the team has considered shutting Simmons down for the rest of this season and even though Vaughn said no, it shows how much time Simmons has missed that Vaughn was asked that question. According to multiple reports, Simmons said that he hasn’t been 100% healthy at any point this season even though he didn’t play at all last season partially because of back surgery. Simmons is owed a little under $38 million in 2023-2024 and and a little over $40 million in 2024-2025 so Brooklyn has a lot to think about when it comes down to the former LSU Tiger according to B/R:

“Just last season, the Brooklyn Nets had three cornerstone talents in Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Now, with all due respect to Mikal Bridges, they have none, which boggles the mind when their roster includes a 26-year-old with three All-Star selections on his resume.

The problem is said 26-year-old is Ben Simmons, or whatever is left of him. He was a franchise floor general in the not-so-distant past, but now he’s a 6’10”, 240-pound enigma. Brooklyn added him at the 2022 trade deadline and still doesn’t know what it has or how use him.

“Trying to figure out what lineup fits around Ben, what position fits for Ben, how we can make him look good at every opportunity,” Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn said, per Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post. “That’s the goal and I’m still trying to figure that out.”

Theoretically, this revamped Nets roster fits around Simmons. It has a bunch of long, lanky defenders who can get out in the open court and spread the floor on offense. None of that matters, though, as long as Simmons keeps playing like he’s allergic to the basket and afraid of the free-throw line.


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Story originally appeared on Nets Wire