NBA Scout Says Nets Must Move On From Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons, Nic Claxton, Brooklyn Nets, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Despite some distractions, the Brooklyn Nets have played some very good basketball this season. They are attempting to remain afloat with Kevin Durant sidelined, but when healthy, they have looked like one of the best teams in the NBA.

They are only one of seven teams in the league with 30+ wins already, owning a record of 30-19. However, for them to reach their potential, one NBA scout that spoke to NBA Analysis Network believes they need to shake up their roster a little bit.

When at full strength, the Nets have been starting Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris, Durant, Ben Simmons, and Nic Claxton. For the team to take that next step, the scout thinks that the team has to move on from Simmons as he and Claxton are a poor frontcourt fit.

“I really like what I’ve seen from Claxton this season. There isn’t much point in clogging up the offense by having Simmons out there. It’s not even that he still won’t shoot the ball — that is very limiting, don’t get me wrong — but he still isn’t aggressive in attacking the rim. Both of those guys are bad free throw shooters, too. Can you even close games with them together? The Nets seem to be showing that they think the answer is no. If I have to pick, I’m taking Claxton. It’s easier said than done, but Brooklyn should move on from Simmons as soon as possible.”

Claxton is having a breakout season for Brooklyn. He signed a two-year, $17.25 million contract in the offseason and is outperforming that deal. His averages of 13.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.7 blocks per game are all career highs. The blocks and his 74.7 percent shooting from the field, which is also a career-high, currently lead the league.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Ben Simmons, Nic Claxton & Brooklyn Nets Updates

With Durant sidelined, Claxton has taken his game to another level, especially on offense. In the nine games without the former MVP, Claxton is averaging 18.9 points per game to go along with 11.1 rebounds and 3.2 blocks. He has scored in double-figures eight straight games and recorded at least two blocks in all nine.

Simmons, on the other hand, isn’t having much of a positive impact at all without Durant. He has missed two of the games and has gone scoreless twice, reaching double-figures only twice as well.

While the tantalizing upside that Simmons theoretically possesses is nice, he has not shown it nearly enough. There have been flashes of it, but the Nets need more consistency than what he is offering to reach their ultimate goal of winning a championship.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Ben Simmons, Nic Claxton & Brooklyn Nets Updates

If there were a market for Simmons, it would make a lot of sense for the Nets to explore it. Claxton is proving to be a more impactful player and a better fit on the roster, providing the two-way impact the franchise expected from the former No. 1 overall pick.