Ben Simmons went from the Rookie of the Year in the NBA in 2018 and averaged 16 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds for the first four years of his career. After that he was almost out of the league. Following a terrible playoff showing in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, Simmons didn’t play the full next season due to back and knee problems. Most people think it was mostly a mental issue as to why Simmons didn’t play, however.
His comeback in the 2022-2023 was short lived. He got traded to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden but averaged just 6.9 points per game and shot a career-worst 43.9% from the free throw line. He also only played in 42 games and started 33 of them.
This offseason Simmons looks like he has been putting in work and the Nets are ready to build the team around him. With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving gone from the Nets they don’t have many other options. He should be given the keys to the team. A lot will be riding on the mental side of the game for him. Simmons doesn’t have to become a three-point shooter but improving his free throw percentages and adding a reliable mid-range jumper will be paramount to is success.
So far in preseason he has looked good in limited minutes. The regular season will be where we can really see if he is back.
Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ben_Simmons_-_49177017932.jpg