The Nets’ challenges and creative upside in making the most of Ben Simmons
No matter what happens with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons is all but assured of being a foundational piece of the Nets.
While the ongoing drama surrounding Durant’s trade request — and Irving’s unsure status — has sucked all the air out of the room and dominated almost every headline this offseason, the under-the-radar X-factor for the Nets is getting Simmons back from May back surgery and in the right headspace.
Whether it’s for a title chase or the beginning of a rebuild.
Simmons was the centerpiece of the Nets’ return for trading away former MVP James Harden in February — they also got Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks from the 76ers — and he hasn’t played a single second for them. Simmons first was unavailable in Philadelphia last season due to mental health issues and then was sidelined in Brooklyn due to a herniated disk.