Everybody wants to know when Ben Simmons will make his debut for the Brooklyn Nets after coming over in a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers. While Simmons always was going to need some time to ramp up after not playing all season, he’s now also dealing with a troublesome back issue that has thrown a wrench into the return plans.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst provided another update on the situation Monday, relaying information from Simmons’ agent, rich paul of Klutch Sports, that the three-time All-Star is “week-to-week” as he deals with this back issue and prepares for a return. This essentially matches a recent report from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium on the matter.
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There has been plenty of speculation regarding Simmons’ availability for the March 10 game back in Philly. At this point, though, it seems as if there’s just about zero chance he’s ready for that game. While some think Simmons is ducking that game to avoid the hostile environment, the reporting right now suggests he actually is dealing with a troublesome back issue that has caused a legitimate setback. That could always be spin, but Windhorst says he’s not sure if Simmons will even be ready to play at any point in March and he’s “frankly not close” to playing.
Nets coach Steve Nash recently downplayed the back problem, but these latest reports are not what Nets fans want to hear as the team scuffles along through this season. Brooklyn dropped to 32-31 in 2021-22 with another loss to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, which now has them three games back of the seventh-seeded Raptors.
If there’s any good news here, it’s that Kevin Durant is slated to finally make his much-awaited return later this week. The Nets desperately need KD back to help save the day, especially with Kyrie Irving still a part-time player and Simmons’ debut with the team nowhere in sight.