Ben Simmons has been one of the NBA’s more naturally talented players ever since he was the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, but instead of blossoming into a superstar, he has become perhaps the league’s biggest enigma.
He demanded a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers in 2021 after then-head coach Doc Rivers said he wasn’t sure if he could be the point guard on a championship team, and since joining the Brooklyn Nets, he has played in just 42 games over a season-and-a-half.
Simmons hasn’t made himself available to play consistently due to injuries, and at one point after coming to Brooklyn, he even claimed he had a mental health problem.
But analyst Marc J. Spears says the LSU product “is as healthy as he has ever been since his last year in Philly,” via ClutchPoints.
"I talked to somebody close to [Ben Simmons]… They would say, 'I would say he's in the final stage of prep for the season and he has passed every benchmark and is as healthy as he has ever been since his last year in Philly.'"
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) July 26, 2023
When Simmons entered the NBA, many felt he could become one of the greatest players in the game thanks to his athleticism, court vision, and ball-handling skills.
At 6-foot-10, he is adept at attacking in transition to either hit an open teammate or finish near the rim, so much so that some compared him to Magic Johnson and LeBron James.
Over the last few years, he has also become an elite defensive player, and he has been named to two All-Defensive First-Teams.
But in seven seasons, Simmons has never averaged more than 16.9 points a game, and his scoring average actually fell all the way to 6.9 points a game this past season.
If he is healthy, both physically and mentally, he can help lead a young and hungry Nets squad and possibly help it overachieve.NEXT: Mikal Bridges Reflects On 76ers Trading Him On Draft Night