Nets' Vaughn: Simmons 'should have the basketball in his hands' this season
Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn is hoping to make former No. 1 pick Ben Simmons a focal point of the team's offense this season.
"If Ben is able to play consistently in a certain way, there’s no doubt that he should have the basketball in his hands," Vaughn told reporters including SNY's Ian Begley on Tuesday.
Vaughn's comments come following a season in which Simmons averaged a career-low 6.9 points per game in 42 contests with the Nets. He missed the entire 2021-22 season while holding out with the Philadelphia 76ers and nursing a back injury after getting dealt to Brooklyn.
Once an elite point guard who made three consecutive All-Star teams and averaged at least 14 points and seven assists in each of his first four NBA seasons, Simmons struggled to find an offensive role alongside Brooklyn's star core of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Simmons only played in three games after the team dealt its best players and retooled around Mikal Bridges, averaging just 16.5 minutes a contest and scoring eight total points.
Vaughn confirmed that Simmons has recovered from a season-ending knee injury, saying he is "100% healthy," according to Begley.
Typically running the show offensively, the 6-foot-10 Simmons will need to compete with veteran Spencer Dinwiddie and newly acquired Dennis Smith Jr. at the point guard position this season.
- Lakers win debut NBA Cup behind dominant performances from LeBron, AD
- theScore's 50 favorite moments of 2023: Fights, phenoms, and epic buzzer-beaters
- Kyrie suffered heel contusion in win over Blazers
- Kerr: Warriors are 'good enough to win a championship'
- Green, VanVleet combine for 51 as Rockets beat Nuggets for 1st road win