After two consecutive seasons falling to recurrent injuries, Ben Simmons is finally set to begin training camp next week in Brooklyn and ready to leave his frustrations behind. According to his coach Jacque Vaughn, if he remains healthy, he might just return to his favorite position as a point guard.
This Tuesday, the Nets trainer revealed that the Australian athlete has been competing five-on-five this offseason and should earn more offensive roles if he is able to avoid injuries.
To give a little context, the former All-Star had to be sidelined after February’s trade deadline and missed out on the rest of the campaign due to a sore left knee which was followed by a nerve injury on his back. Nevertheless, the Aussie star had already fallen out of rotation before then, as his performances dropped just as his confidence did.
Jacque Vaughn states that Ben Simmons and Nic Claxton will share the floor “a ton” and that both are good at turning defense into offense. pic.twitter.com/A0KdwYVmj1
— Brooklyn Netcast (@BrooklynNetcast) September 26, 2023
Coach Vaughn now sees clearly that before he didn’t have the strength to perform, but he is convinced that this is finally all in the past. “But the things that I’m asking him to do going forward, I think he can physically do now,” he said.
Simmons is excited of the opportunity to return to his roots as a point guard, which was the role in which he earned three All-Star selections playing for Philly. Last season in Brooklyn, he played mostly as a forward or even a backup center, while Kyrie Irving was in his favorite position.
Now that the superstar is playing alongside Luka Doncic in Dallas, Vaughn will give Simmons the opportunity to prove himself. “I think if Ben is able to play consistently in a certain way, there’s no doubt then that he should have the basketball in his hands,” the coach said. “You have to guard him with the basketball in his hands.”
The New York Post recently interviewed the 27-year-old, who revealed he’s worked on his physical condition as well as his game during the summer, and is ready to become an All-Star again.
“[I feel] amazing. I think this is the first summer where I’ve really had to just get healthy and get back on track to where I need to be. I’m super excited to be on Brooklyn, obviously. And then we’ve got a great, great team, a great coach in Jacque Vaughn. So I’m excited. I think this year is gonna be a completely different year to the past couple,” he said.
NBA analyst reveals Ben Simmons was seen by teams as a ‘reclamation project’ prior to 2023 trade deadline
There’s no doubt that the Australian star hasn’t even been a shadow of the player he used to be when he wore the Sixers jersey. This week, NBA insider Ian Begley revealed that Brooklyn tried their best to trade out Simmons during the past 2023 trade deadline.
“The Nets talked to multiple teams about trades involving Simmons ahead of the 2023 NBA trade deadline. The idea was to get off of his contract, per multiple teams in touch with Brooklyn at the time,” the sport analyst reported.
“There was one Southeast Division team with a legitimate interest in trading for Simmons then as a reclamation project. But outside of that, teams were wary of bringing him on,” Begley then added.
It is easy to understand why teams interested in the 27-year-old would be cautious before investing in him, especially considering how injuries have kept him plenty outside the court during the past two campaigns.