For the Nets, it was the end of the brief James Harden era and for the 76ers, it was the conclusion of all the drama surrounding Simmons and his displeasure playing in Philly.
It was a big trade for both teams and set them up for some big success.
Already, the 76ers have seen the benefit of adding Harden and he feels like a good fit with the team.
But the Nets haven’t been able to experience all that Simmons has to offer because he’s been sidelined by a lower back injury and hasn’t played a game yet.
When Simmons started in rehab in Brooklyn, there had been a quiet target date of Friday vs. Portland for a return, sources said. Now, the hope is Simmons can play a couple of games — perhaps April 8 and 10 — before the opening of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 16, 2022
New reports say that the hope is Simmons will be healthy enough to appear in a couple of regular season games before the Eastern Conference Playoffs start in April.
There was some talk of Simmons attempting to play this week in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers, but it quickly became apparent that Simmons’ injury wouldn’t allow that.
So now the team has an eye on early April.
What Does Simmons Bring?
A lot of people give Simmons a very hard time because of the way he acted towards the end of his time with the 76ers.
However, you can’t deny he has a lot of power.
Simmons can be a defensive hero on the floor when he’s playing his best.
There is a reason why he led the NBA in steals in 2020 and was named All-NBA Third Team and NBA All-Defensive First team.
That is exactly the sort of skill the Nets want – and need – from Simmons.
Hopefully, they get it soon.