Ben Simmons’ injury-filled Nets season is over
Ben Simmons’ 2022-23 season is formally over, and at this level, his future with the Nets is unclear.
Nets coach Jacque Vaughn stated on Tuesday that Simmons gained’t play once more for the remainder of the common season or postseason.
The oft-injured 26-year-old, who hasn’t performed since Feb. 15 because of knee and again issues, will as a substitute begin a rehab program.
At this level, medical doctors haven’t really useful surgical procedure, Vaughn stated.
“Our medical doctors and the specialists really feel and suppose that he’ll have a full restoration,” Vaughn stated, “in order that begins now.”
Vaughn’s feedback confirmed what appeared the most certainly state of affairs after Simmons was identified Friday with a nerve impingement in his again — along with the checklist of knee and different again issues which have derailed one other season.
Simmons has appeared in simply 42 of a attainable 105 video games since he was acquired from the 76ers by way of a disastrous February 2022 commerce for James Harden.
The Nets pays greater than $35 million this yr to Simmons, who has two years remaining on his contract, with an approximate $78 million price ticket connected to his spot on the roster. In 42 video games this season, he averaged 6.9 factors and 26.3 minutes per recreation, each career-lows.
The query that looms after a second consecutive misplaced season, is whether or not Simmons’ profession nonetheless could be salvaged.
Simmons’ new agent, Bernard Lee, informed The Submit the most recent subject was a part of the anticipated restoration course of from the microdiscectomy he had on Might 5 final yr, and it gained’t influence his capability to be prepared for coaching camp.
“With out stepping into specifics, what I’ve realized in all these conversations is that what Ben skilled right here is taken into account to be a part of the restoration from his earlier process,” Lee stated. “The NBA schedule is clearly rigorous and never forgiving to the necessity for persistence at instances and Ben made each effort to be obtainable to assist his crew in each means as a lot as he may.
“This step at this cut-off date is being taken in partnership with the crew to assist Ben to permit him to essentially get himself bodily ready to start the beginning of subsequent season in an effort to steer the Nets in the best way he’s proven over the course of his younger profession he’s able to doing.”
Simmons parted methods lately with agent Wealthy Paul of Klutch.
His new agent Lee’s shopper checklist consists of Jimmy Butler, Justin Vacation and Kris Dunn, and he has proven a penchant for navigating shoppers via powerful and tough conditions. Simmons would be the newest.
Simmons was coping with a herniated L-4 disk in his again when he underwent the Might process, which Simmons later stated would require 18 months for a full restoration.
This season, he acquired platelet-rich plasma injections and had his knee drained previous to the All-Star break. Simmons additionally missed earlier stretches of 4, 4 and 5 video games.
When Simmons began a strengthening program in February, shortly after the Nets returned from the All-Star break, Vaughn needed to get him again on the court docket.
The capability and function have been nonetheless unknown, however Simmons could be current.
Simmons’ preliminary absence Feb. 24 was a late shock.
However then that one recreation led to a different and one other and one other, till he had missed 17 straight.
Nonetheless, there was a hope — slim, at greatest — that Simmons would return this yr, particularly if the Nets made the playoffs.
Throughout what Vaughn labeled a “reassessment” section, although, the nerve impingement was revealed, and that led to visits with specialists.
Even after the most recent setback, Vaughn stated the Nets purpose “to be concerned” with Simmons as he tries to rediscover the participant he was earlier than accidents.
“I wish to coach Ben and I need to have the ability to push Ben to get again to all-defensive crew and influence our crew on each ends of the ground,” Vaughn stated.
The query for the Nets between now and subsequent season revolves round whether or not Simmons can get wholesome, stay wholesome and turn into each an impactful — and reliable — participant.