Brooklyn Nets point guard Ben Simmons hasn’t played in an NBA game in over a calendar year. In addition, he’s yet to wear a Nets uniform since being acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers in the James Harden blockbuster trade.
While Simmons plans to retake the hardwood for the 2022-23 season, teammate Seth Curry believes the three-time All-star’s comeback will be challenging.
“There are always challenges. Foremost, he has missed a whole season. It is going to be a challenge getting his rhythm back playing basketball,” Seth Curry, Simmons’ teammate with the 76ers and now the Nets, told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia.
Simmons underwent successful back surgery on May 5 after the Boston Celtics swept the Nets in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs. He’s expected to be fully recovered in time for training camp.
The Sixers made Simmons the No. 1 pick out of LSU in the 2016 draft. Over five-plus seasons in Philly, Simmons earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2017-18, two All-Defensive team nods, while being named to the All-NBA team in 2019-20.
For his career, he has averaged 15.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 7.7 assists. It’s just been so long since the No. 1-overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft last played, dating back to the 2020-21 playoffs.
“I have seen him in the facility a couple of times,” Curry said. “Just like I said, [he’s] been doing a lot of shooting, working, working on his body and being in the gym, so, from everything I have seen, hopefully, he will be out there ready to go come training camp.”
In his last full season in the NBA, 2020-21, Simmons averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.6 steals in 58 games. In 12 postseason games, Simmons averaged 11.9 points, 8.8 assists, 7.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
“Obviously, he is an All-Star-caliber player,” Curry said. “Obviously, he is trying to make the most of this offseason, get back healthy physically and mentally. Like I say, he had a year off, it’s going to be good for him to get back out on the court and get re-acclimated.