Nets’ Sean Marks gives update on Ben Simmons’ recovery

NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets are moving into a new era of the franchise as they have hired Jordi Fernandez to be the team’s head coach moving forward. Fernandez let his personality shine through during his introductory press conference on Wednesday while general manager Sean Marks had to answer some familiar, tough questions.

“Ben’s down in Miami, rehabbing now from surgery,” Marks said about Ben Simmons after Wednesday’s press conference to introduce Fernandez to the media. The Nets announced on Mar. 14 that Simmons “underwent a successful microscopic partial discectomy” to address the nerve impingement in his back that plagued most of his 2023-24 season.

“All signs point towards him being available for the start of next season,” Marks said of Simmons, which tracks with what the team said back in March in its statement about Simmons’ recovery. “With Ben, it’s very unfortunate. We looked like we were a completely different team when Ben was healthy out there. So, it’s paramount that we get him back and we get him healthy.”

Simmons, 27, played just 15 games this season as he dealt with a nerve impingement in his back that forced most of his missed games and also limited his effectiveness on the court. Not only has Simmons played just 57 games in the past three seasons, but he has also collected just over $106 million in that time span.

To be fair, when Simmons signed his current five-year, $177 million contract in July 2019, he was coming off a 2018-19 season that saw him make his first All-Star appearance after averaging 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game for the Philadelphia 76ers.

However, it’s safe to say that with Simmons scheduled to earn $40.3 million next season, the Nets need him to be more available and get somewhat close to how he played prior to coming to Brooklyn. “I think Ben wants it just as much, if not more than anybody else. But, time will, time will tell on him and how he progresses through summer. There’s no reason to think he won’t be though,” Marks said.

Story originally appeared on Nets Wire