Though the Nets acquired Ben Simmons in February as part of a blockbuster trade with the Sixers just before the deadline, the Australian has yet to suit up for Brooklyn in an official NBA game.
The All-Star hasn't played since the 2020-21 playoffs, when Philadelphia was eliminated at the hands of the Hawks. Since then, Simmons was involved in a months-long saga with his former team before he finally got the trade he wanted.
However, a back injury stood in his way once he joined the Nets, preventing him from playing in the second half of last season. Simmons finally returned to the court this preseason, but head coach Steve Nash admitted we have to wait to see the guard at his best again.
Steve Nash says Nets have to be patient with Ben Simmons
"I think for Ben a lot of it is not just the understanding, it's the reps," Nash said, via Nick Friedell of ESPN. "He hasn't played for a long time. He's coming off of back surgery, so I think there's some periods of indecision and confidence that he has to gain from playing. All of us do. We can't take that much time off, join a new group and just figure it out Day 1, so he needs time.
"The No. 1 thing is support him, be here for him. Give him belief. I think we all believe in him and we all think he'll make a huge impact, it's just we got to give him time. We got to be patient with him. We hope it comes quickly, but in the event that it doesn't, we just got to work through it, and stay patient and give him that confidence, because it's not easy. I can't reiterate it enough."
It may be too soon to judge Simmons for his performances. After all, he's been off the court for a long time. However, the 2022-23 NBA season starts next week, so he'll have to rediscover his best level soon.