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How does Ben Simmons impact the Brooklyn Nets’ rebuild?

The trade deadline for the 2023-24 season is less than one month away from now and for teams like the Brooklyn Nets, that date is important. The Nets are at an interesting part of their season as their playoff prospects are worsening by the loss and they have been losing a lot lately.

While most of the trade deadline talk involving Brooklyn is focused on veterans Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Royce O’Neale, there is one player that should be talked about more: Ben Simmons. To be fair, Simmons has not been talked about much this season for anything that he’s doing on the court because he’s played just six games due to injuries.

However, as the Nets enter what is expected to be more of a rebuild given how the team has won just four of its last 16 games, Brooklyn may need to consider if Simmons fits into this era of the franchise. Initially, Simmons was brought to the Nets to hopefully be the third star to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but now that Durant and Irving are elsewhere, it’s fair to wonder if Simmons should follow suit.

What makes the Simmons conversation difficult is whether it’s worth continuing with the hope that he can be one of the foundational pieces that Brooklyn builds around moving forward. For a variety of reasons, he has played just 48 games over the past three seasons and given his current rehab from a nerve impingement in his lower left back, Simmons may not play again with this current roster.

Another factor that complicates Simmons’ trade value is that he’s still owed $40 million for next season. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks opined in a recent episode of the HoopsHype podcast, Simmons would most likely be signed for the minimum right now if he was a free-agent because of how unreliable he has been for the past few seasons.

Similar to what the Chicago Bulls are reportedly going through with Zach LaVine, the Nets may have to attach assets to get Simmons off the roster if they decide to go that route. If Brooklyn decides to keep Simmons, they would need him to be a consistent presence on the court for this rebuild to be successful.

Story originally appeared on Nets Wire