It has been said before, but next season really is important for Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets.
The former All-Star only played 42 games last season after missing out on all of the year before.
And during those 42 games, he wasn’t doing much: he averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists.
An injury kept Simmons off the court for much of 2022-23 but that is apparently healed.
According to insider Ian Begley, per NBACentral, Simmons is now “100% healthy” and is expected to compete for the starting point guard spot in Brooklyn.
Begley said that Simmons is “solely focused” on his conditioning and working on his skills before the start of training camp.
Ben Simmons is 100% healthy and is expected to compete for the starting PG job in Brooklyn, per @IanBegley
“Simmons has completed the rehab portion of his offseason and is now solely focused on skill work and conditioning as he prepares for 2023-24 training camp, league sources… pic.twitter.com/5pwYJgpLI6
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) July 27, 2023
Simmons has a lot to prove at training camp and beyond.
The last few years have been beyond rocky for the player.
He had a huge falling out with the Philadelphia 76ers a few years ago and sat on the bench for an entire year, allegedly because of injury and mental health problems.
When returning to the game with the Nets, Simmons looked like a shell of his former shelf.
At times, he seemed more likely to create a foul than an assist.
Fans have been hoping that Simmons will finally get healthy, and get his mind back in the game.
If he does, he can be a pivotal part of this up-and-coming team.
After the loss of both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets are in search of a new identity and a reliable lineup.
They have some very promising pieces, such as Mikal Bridges and Spencer Dinwiddie.
Simmons could help and play well alongside them.
The first step in Simmons’ possible redemption season is to get healthy.
It seems that has happened.
Now it’s time for him to do whatever is necessary to look and feel like an All-Star again.NEXT: Analyst Shares Promising Ben Simmons Update