Simmons ruled out for rest of regular season, play-in games

Nathaniel S. Butler / National Basketball Association / Getty

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash announced Ben Simmons will not make his on-court debut with the team until at least after the play-in games, according to The Athletic's Alex Schiffer.

The All-Star point forward was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of February's trade deadline but aggravated a back injury while ramping up his conditioning following a lengthy holdout.

Brooklyn is just 40-38 with four games to play largely owing to season-long injury woes to stars like Kevin Durant, as well as Kyrie Irving's vaccine-related unavailability for home games. The Nets will have to win at least one play-in contest to qualify for the main playoff draw.

Simmons, the first overall pick in 2016, has averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game for his career.

With a 6-foot-11 frame, the Australian national has cemented himself as a dominant defensive presence and one of the league's best playmakers in transition. However, he's struggled to find the same success on offense in halfcourt sets, due in large part to his reluctance to shoot the ball.

Simmons' shooting woes reached a new nadir during the 76ers' 2021 playoff run. En route to Philadelphia's second-round upset at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks, he shot just 34.2% on 73 free throws and seemingly shied away from open scoring opportunities in an effort to avoid being fouled.

After falling out with the franchise, the 76ers ultimately traded Simmons in a blockbuster package for star James Harden.

Simmons has now reportedly filed a grievance against his former team over nearly $20 million in withheld salary. The complaint will be settled via arbitration.

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Simmons ruled out for rest of regular season, play-in games
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