Brooklyn officially shuts down Ben Simmons for remainder of season

Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets

It seemed inevitable, and the news came down on Thursday: The Brooklyn Nets shut down Ben Simmons for the rest of the season due to his lower back impingement.

Simmons played in just 15 games for the Nets this season because of the injury, averaging 6.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 5.7 assists on 58.1% shooting when he did play. In many ways, it was the same Ben Simmons we know, a gifted defender who can do almost everything on offense except shoot a jump shot, which limits his effectiveness.

Simmons' injury issues echo last season (when he played in 42 games). The Nets would be open to trading him, but his contract has made that next to impossible. Simmons is making $37.9 million this season and has a fully guaranteed $40.3 million owed him next season. Brooklyn would have to throw in a sweetener to get any team to take that on.

There will always be teams tempted to bring Simmons in on some level because we have seen how good he can be when healthy — the former No. 1 pick is a three-time All-Star, once made third-team All-NBA (2021), and also made two All-Defensive Teams. All of that happened with the Philadelphia 76ers before his back issues sidelined him. Can he bounce back closer to that level next season in a contract year?

There are teams that may be willing to give him another shot, just not near his current price tag.