Report: Brooklyn Nets unlikely to trade Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons, Nets
Mar 10, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (10) during warmups against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets either have so much faith in Ben Simmons, or there is little to no market for him.

Whether they like it or not, Simmons looms to become the Nets’ torchbearer in the post-Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving era. The Nets are reportedly unlikely to trade Simmons in the wake of Durant’s trade request and the rumblings of the end of Irving’s short and forgettable stint with the team he grew up rooting for.

Simmons has become a roadblock in any potential deal with several teams, including Durant’s preferred landing spots, as the Nets are prohibited from trading for another player on a designated rookie max extension, per CBA rules. Unless the Nets trade Simmons. But according to a New York Post report, that option is unlikely to happen.

“And when asked if Simmons had gotten assurances he was in the Nets’ long-term plans and would not be traded, a source close to the young All-Star told The Post simply that “Ben is good,” New York Post’s Brian Lewis wrote.

Simmons missed the entire 2021-22 season, citing mental health problems and then lingering back issues after the Nets acquired from Philadelphia in the James Harden trade. Simmons, a former three-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA Defense Team member, theoretically fit alongside Durant and Irving with his length and defense. But with the impending departure of the two dynamic scorers, Simmons will have to carry the offense alongside TJ Warren and whomever the Nets acquire in a Durant trade package.

Simmons dreamed of running his own team, reportedly one of the reasons his partnership with Joel Embiid did not flourish. He will have his shot in the post-Durant-Irving era. But his offensive limitation, particularly his suspect perimeter shooting, will be scrutinized even more in a starring role.

Simmons could have his shot at redemption or slide further down to oblivion.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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