One day before multiple reports said Simmons was supposed to make his debut with the Nets, the team has listed him as out for Game 4 due to back soreness. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Simmons showed up at the Sixers facility on Sunday and told them of his back pain following Saturday’s workout and “they took him at his word.”
Earlier in the day, Steve Nash had been vague about Simmons’ return, but nobody blinked because that kind of communication is what everyone has come to expect from the Brooklyn organization this season and around Simmons.
How this plays with the other Nets and in the locker room is an open question. At this point in the season, every Net is playing through some level of injury and pain. This is a team that entered the season thinking title, traded James Harden for Simmons mid-season, and now will get nothing out of Simmons even in the playoffs. Maybe teammates are understanding, but getting people’s hopes up and then letting them down is hard on relationships (although there is little to no chance any Nets will say that publicly).
It is unknown if Simmons could play in a Game 5 Wednesday back in Boston, if the Nets can keep the series alive and win Game 4 Monday night.
But at this point, Simmons’ Nets debut looks like a next season thing.