If you have not sold all your stocks in Ben Simmons, you might want to hold on to them because the Brooklyn Nets guard-forward wants you to believe that change is coming, beginning in the 2023-24 NBA season.
“[I feel] amazing. I think this is the first summer where I’ve really had to just get healthy and get back on track to where I need to be,” Simmons said about his current form, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
“I’m super excited to be on Brooklyn, obviously. And then we’ve got a great, great team, a great coach in Jacque Vaughn. So I’m excited. I think this year is gonna be a completely different year to the past couple.”
Many have understandably given up on their hope to see Simmons recover the same form he had when he earned an All-Star nod three seasons in a row from the 2018-19 campaign to 2020-21. But at the same time, Simmons just turned 27 years old last July. There must be plenty left in the tank. Ideally, he should still be on his way to reaching his peak form. But mental health issues and physical problems have stunted the growth of one of the most promising young players in the NBA just a few years ago.
Simmons missed the entire 2021-22 NBA season due to his holdout stance amid his rough final year with the Philadelphia 76ers and back problems following his trade from Philly to the Nets. It did not get much better for him in the 2022-23 season, as he looked remotely close to his old self in the 42 games he played, averaging just 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game. He still doesn’t have a reliable outside shot nor even the inclination to at least increase his activity from behind the arc. It’s the same reason why it remains difficult to buy into a potential Simmons bounce-back tour.
Simmons is close to being 100% healthy again after undergoing back surgery. That’s clearly good news for the Nets, but until he plays at a high level consistently again, there’s really not much reason to feel bullish on him.