There is “no chance” Simmons plays against his former team this week, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on NBA Countdown. There is no timeline for Simmons’ return, the week-to-seek reports seem accurate, but here is the latest from Wojnarowski.
“There’s a tremendous urgency around the Nets to get Ben Simmons on the court, get him incorporated, and playing with this team. The Nets start a three-game road trip today against the Celtics. Simmons is going to join them at some point. The Nets’ hope is when Brooklyn gets back after Thursday’s game in Philly, Simmons at that point will be ready to start getting on the floor with his teammates, increasing his workload, and getting closer to returning. That back problem has been an issue for him since he’s tried to start ramping ups He’s essentially just done individual work at their facility. They’re hoping by the end of the week he’ll be able to do more.”
Simmons has been ramping up his conditioning and getting mentally ready to play since the blockbuster deadline trade that sent James Harden to Philadelphia. He has yet to set foot on an NBA court this season.
There are a lot of questions for the Nets to answer once they get Simons on the court? Is he willing to accept a different role on this team? Will there be enough time to build chemistry before the play-in (where the Nets are likely headed) and eventually the playoffs? Just how good can the Nets be this season? Next season (and what will the roster look like then)?
But to answer any of those questions, the Nets need to get Simmons on the court.