Ben Simmons’ Brooklyn Nets Tenure Has Been An Ugly One

Ben Simmons, Nets, NBA
Feb 8, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (10) warms up prior to the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

There may not be a bigger what-if in the NBA currently than Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets. The No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft was oozing with potential, possessing the tools to become a star in the league.

Standing 6’10”, Simmons was the size of a big man with the skills of a guard. He was more than capable of running the offense as the point guard and then could be banging on the interior with the opposing center on defense.

That kind of versatility could have very well led to stardom at some point for Simmons. After missing his first season in the NBA because of a foot injury, he quickly showcased that immense potential.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Ben Simmons & Brooklyn Nets Updates

He ran away with the Rookie of the Year award in the 2017-18 season, starting an impressive four-year stretch. Simmons was a multi-time All-Star and All-Defensive Team member, making a major impact despite not having a jump shot.

Unfortunately, that four-year stretch is likely the best we will see from Simmons. The following three seasons have been a disaster, punctuated by yet another season-ending injury. Simmons will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2023-24 NBA season as the Nets figure out a path to dealing with his back issues.

What was once a promising career has gone off the rails. The end of his tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers was an ugly one, and while his relationship with the Nets’ organization hasn’t been bad, this tenure is just as ugly.

Injuries have marred his tenure in Brooklyn. As shared by Covers, Simmons has played in a total of 57 games since joining the Nets, averaging 6.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 25.7 minutes per game.

The most staggering thing about Simmons’ tenure is how much money he is being paid. He signed an extension with the 76ers, which the Nets have been on the hook for. For 0 games during the 2020-21 season, Simmons was paid $33 million.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Ben Simmons & Brooklyn Nets Updates

In the following season, Simmons played in 42 games and was paid $35.4 million. This season, he will end the campaign with 17 games played and will have earned $37.9 million. The 2024-25 season, the last on his contract, the Nets will pay Simmons $40.3 million.

That is a lot of money for a franchise to be burning on someone who cannot get on the court. Simmons had arguably the worst contract in the NBA, but that could change this offseason as he will be on an expiring deal.

His contract should be a massive bargaining chip for the Nets to use in trade negotiations. They can add more draft capital acquiring an unwanted contract from another team looking to shed salary or include him as salary matching in a blockbuster trade.

What has been a negative could very well turn out to be a positive for the Nets starting in the 2024 NBA offseason. As we have seen in the past, no player or contract is untradeable in the right scenario.

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