Nets GM Sean Marks On Ben Simmons: ‘We’re Not Going To Put Him Out On The Court Where It’s Detrimental To His Health’ – Forbes

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 31: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates during the first … [+] quarter against the Washington Wizards during Game Four of the Eastern Conference first round series at Capital One Arena on May 31, 2021 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons will join his new Brooklyn Nets teammates for the game in Miami on Saturday, but GM Sean Marks says there’s no timetable on when Simmons will debut with his new team.
“It’s probably too early to tell exactly when Ben’s going to be on the court,” Marks said Friday following the blockbuster Simmons-for-James Harden trade on Thursday. Marks added that Simmons, who will wear No. 10 for the Nets, was in Brooklyn today to get his physical.
“He’s currently doing his MRIs and physicals and getting signed off on that,” Marks added. “So until we’ve seen him and seen the physical shape he’s in, we’re not going to put him out on the court where it’s detrimental to one, his health, and two, the camaraderie that can be built within the team. We gotta get him a few practices first and just see where he is physically, and go from there.”
The 6-foot-10 Simmons, who has career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists, is a three-time All-Star and two-time member of the All-Defensive First Team who should help the Nets on both sides of the ball once he’s in shape. But he hasn’t played for the Sixers all season after he showed up late to start the season after training in Los Angeles and has since cited mental health issues while sitting out.
Simmons, 25, is eager to join the Nets and ramp up for a return to play this season, agent Rich Paul told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“We’ve got to work to do to get him back to play, but it’s a great step in right direction,” Paul said.
Marks thanked Harden for his contributions to the team and said the franchise was “frustrated” that the “Big 3” of Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving only managed to play 16 games together due to injuries and Irving’s part-time status as an unvaccinated player.
Still, he believes the additions of Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond help the Nets in a variety of areas, including ball-handling, shooting, defense and rebounding.
“Adding these three players, Seth, Andre and Ben help us in needs that James doesn’t fulfill,” Marks said.
Kevin Boyle, who coached both Irving and Simmons in high school, said he believes the two former No. 1 picks will complement one another on the court.
Simmons is due to make $33 million this season and has four years and $147 million left on his contract.
He was the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft out of LSU and was selected at Barclays Center, so being traded to the Nets marks a return to the scene of his draft night success. His father, David, also grew up in The Bronx, and one source said it was Ben’s “dream” to play in New York. Born in Australia, he also has connections to Irving and Patty Mills, who were both born there.
“I’ve got his back,” Mills said of Simmons. “I’ve always had his back, and now I have the opportunity to be with him. I’ve had his back from afar and I wish I was with him earlier in his career.”
As for whether Simmons will play the point guard position on a team that features Irving and Durant, Marks said he wasn’t certain.
“I’m obviously not worried about it, I think he does a lot of things on the court whether that’s handling the ball or not, that help us, that help fill some needs,” Marks said.
“The luxury we have is we have several players that could play a role as a primary ball-handler. Steve [Nash] and I are certainly excited about the pace that Ben can bring to the team, the defensive ability, the ability to guard arguably 1-5 positions if need be, the elite passing ability, the finishing at the rim, getting into the paint and finishing.
“Obviously he can get the defensive rebound and lead the break, he can also be out on the wing running the lanes, so it gives Steve some other weapons to use out there and that’s going to be exciting not only for Steve and Ben but the entire group.”

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