The Brooklyn Nets are shutting down guard Ben Simmons for the rest of the season, coach Jacque Vaughn said Tuesday.
Simmons hasn’t played since the Nets’ final game before the All-Star break last month because of a nerve issue in his back. He has missed a total of 33 games this season with knee and back injuries. As of now, Vaughn said the Nets don’t expect Simmons to need another surgery this summer.
Simmons did not play last season as he waited for a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, but then underwent back surgery last summer after not being able to return to play following the deal that sent him to the Nets just before the February 2022 deadline.
In his return to the court this season, Simmons has seen a steep decline from his days as an All-Star with the Philadelphia 76ers, posting career lows in minutes (26.3), points (6.9), rebounds (6.3), assists (6.1) and free throw percentage (43.9).
Simmons, 26, has another two years remaining on his contract, paying him $37.8 million in 2023-24 and $40.3 million in 2024-25.
After trading away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving just before the February deadline and moving forward with swingman Mikal Bridges as the new face of the team, Marks is still holding out hope that Simmons will be able to contribute to the new group at some point in the future.