The Brooklyn Nets opted to end the their latest ‘Big 3′ experiment when they decided to trade both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this past season by the NBA trade deadline. The result was an exciting and young group of players who play hard and gave Nets fans hopes for the future. Mikel Bridges looks like a rising star. Cam Johnson and Nic Claxton are high-level starters. They brought in a few free agents with something to prove in Dennis Smith Jr., Darius Bazley and Harry Giles III. This upcoming season, the Nets should continue on this path and move Ben Simmons before the NBA trade deadline.
Nets trade Ben Simmons
At this point, it’s not certain that Ben Simmons will ever resemble the All-Star player he once was with the Philadelphia 76ers. Whether it’s mental, physical, or something else entirely, Simmons just has not found a consistent rhythm with the Nets as he’s been in and out of the lineup.
Simmons sat out the entire 2021-22 season, the year he was traded to the Nets in exchange for James Harden. This past season, Simmons managed to suit up in 42 games including 33 starts. He did average 6.9 points per game, 6.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals with splits of 56.6 percent shooting from the field and 43.9 percent shooting from the free-throw line.
Simmons has never been a prolific scorer or shooter, but he was a high-level player and an All-Star with the Sixers. It may or may not be what Nets fans want to hear, but the team should look to move on from Simmons this season. The Nets need players who will be available and in the lineup.
Simmons still has another year left on his contract after this one, during which the Nets will be paying him a little over $40 million. That’s a lot of money for a player who hasn’t been able to stay on the court consistently. That’s also a key reason why trading him may prove difficult. Simmons may have more value next season as an expiring contract.
Even so, the Nets should kick the tires on a potential Simmons trade and see if they can’t get another team to bite. It’s possible they might have to throw in a young player or two to entice another team to take back Simmons. At this point it doesn’t really matter what the Nets get back in a potential trade. Just to be out from Simmons’ contract is a win.
Trading Ben Simmons also makes sense from a rotation standpoint. The Nets are entering a new era with an exciting group of young players. Simmons presence on the team, if he is actually healthy, will take away key minutes that need to go to those players. If Simmons plays at point guard, that takes away minutes from Cam Thomas and recent signee Dennis Smith Jr. If Simmons plays at power forward that takes away minutes from Noah Clowney. If Simmons plays at small forward he’s taking away minutes from Cam Johnson.
It’s also beneficial for Simmons himself to be traded. The Nets are a team that is trying to find their place in the NBA right now. Perhaps a contending team with a stronger foundation would be able to get the most out of Simmons. The Nets simply are not that at this point.
For all parties involved, it’s just best if the Nets begin exploring possible Ben Simmons deals if they have not done so already, so they can move him by the NBA trade deadline.