Australian former No.1 Pick, Ben Simmons’ 2022-2023 season is officially over, after being ruled out by Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn due to ongoing back issues.
“After consulting with our doctors, multiple specialists, he’s just going to begin a rehab program. Our doctors and the specialists feel and think that he’ll have a full recovery so that starts now”, said Vaughn.
With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving departing Brooklyn in the recent trade period, there was hope among the Nets faithful that it would allow Simmons to flourish without the intense media scrutiny that the two superstars bring.
Since being traded from the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons has only played 42 from a possible 114 games with personal and injury issues plaguing the once highly touted Australian point-guard.
Unfortunately for the Nets, Simmons contract nearly makes him untradeable without adding in draft picks. Simmons is currently in his 3rd year of a 5 year contract worth $177 million, despite putting up career-low numbers.
Despite all of this, Jacque Vaughn vows to stand by Simmons and get him back to playing his best basketball.
Speaking specifically on Ben, Coach Vaughn said, “He’s 6-10, athletic, what he can do and bring to our team, how he can help our group on both ends of the floor. We want to be involved in that. We want to see that. I want to coach Ben and I want to be able to push Ben to get back to all-defensive team and impact our team on both ends of the floor. So that’s definitely the goal going forward.”
With the media scrutiny that seems to follow Simmons everywhere, ruling him out now is a smart move on the Nets behalf as they move towards the playoffs, sitting in equal 6th position in the Eastern Conference with a record of 40-35.