The Brooklyn Nets are tired of Ben Simmons and his inability to remain healthy on the court, an anonymous Eastern Conference team executive told Basketball Insiders. His time in Brooklyn has likely reached its end. Is Nets G.M. Sean Marks ready to move on from the fifth-year guard?
Only nine games are left of the regular season, and the three-time All-Star has appeared in just 42 games. The “All-Star” label is misleading. Simmons, 26, missed all of last season due to a herniated disc in his back and contract holdout. The LSU product has not made at least 70 appearances since the 2018-19 season.
Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Brooklyn Nets have 19th-ranked odds to win the championship. A couple of sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, and Atlanta Hawks.
Ben Simmons is still dealing with back and knee soreness, per the Nets pic.twitter.com/YQTodTHasL
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) March 13, 2023
Additionally, Simmons has missed the last 15 games this season because of left knee and back soreness. Through 42 appearances, the Brooklyn Nets guard is averaging career lows of 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.3 steals, and 26.3 minutes per game.
Before the All-Star break, the former Sixer had fluid in his left knee drained and a platelet-rich plasma injection. It was supposed to ease any discomfort in his knee. However, his pain flared up again. At this point of his career, Simmons is just a liability, not an asset. He’s deadweight. That should go without saying.
NBA Trade Rumors: Brooklyn Nets will struggle to trade Ben Simmons this offseason due to his hefty contract
More importantly, Ben Simmons is one of the most overpaid NBA players. In many ways, he’s untradeable. The two-time All-Defensive member is earning $35,448,672 this season and is set to make $37,893,408 next season. This is part of the five-year, $177 million contract he signed with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019.
Simmons’ salary consumes about 22% of the team’s total cap. For the worst part, $113,680,224 is fully guaranteed. He’s being paid millions to ride the bench. The second highest-paid player with the Brooklyn Nets is Mikal Bridges, who’s making $21 million this season. But his cap percentage is only 12.6%.
Mikal Bridges since arriving in Brooklyn (13 games):
Ben Simmons (42 games):
6.9 PPG pic.twitter.com/yrxyOZmvGL
— Unbiased NBA Fan (@nonbiasednbafan) March 13, 2023
After trading away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, it makes sense why the Nets are willing to cut ties with low-production players during this upcoming offseason. Draft picks matter. Plus, Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn is unsure whether or not there’s enough time for Ben Simmons to get on the same page with his teammates when he returns.
“That’s the great thing, I don’t even think that far ahead,” said Vaughn. “I don’t even complicate my life that way. I’m concerned about [now]. If those questions present themselves, I’ll be more than willing to see how it fits with the group and answer them at that time. But I don’t want to look that far ahead.” Perhaps the Brooklyn Nets trading Simmons is a matter of when, not if.