It’s no secret that guard Ben Simmons hasn’t lived up to expectations this season for the Brooklyn Nets.
There were high hopes for him after the Nets acquired him during the 2021-22 campaign in a midseason trade that sent superstar James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Simmons has only averaged 5.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists per contest for the Nets this season, and he’s also come off the bench in four different matchups.
It’s looking like he isn’t a good fit in Brooklyn, and an anonymous NBA executive recently threw some shade at Klutch Sports, the agency that represents Simmons and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
“The Nets got hustled by Klutch in the deal so, hey, maybe the Lakers will take him,” the exec said, according to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney. “See what LeBron can do with him. Maybe that’s the solution.”
It seems a little far-fetched to blame the agency for the move. After all, it likely didn’t force the Nets into making the blockbuster trade with the 76ers last season.
The trade hasn’t really yielded positive results for either side. Philadelphia wasn’t able to make it past the second round of the playoffs with Harden last season, losing to the Miami Heat in six games. This season, it has struggled to a 7-7 record and sits at the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference.
As for the Nets, they weren’t able to get Simmons on the court last season and wound up getting swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics after making it out of the play-in tournament.
This season, they have dealt with lots of on-court and off-court distractions on their way to a 6-9 record. They currently sit in 12th place in the East.
Simmons is in a tricky situation. There are many who still believe in him and think he can still make an impact in the league, but there are also plenty of people that think that his days as a star are over.
It seems like some of those doubters are inside the Nets organization.
“According to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation, the frustration surrounding Simmons had been building in recent weeks within the organization,” Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote. “The coaching staff and players have been concerned about his availability and level of play, with some questioning his passion for the game, those sources said. But even when he did play, Simmons’ struggles in his first nine games this season were part of the Nets frustration as well.”
Brooklyn is currently on a two-game losing streak, but Kyrie Irving could make his return from suspension as soon as Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Nets will take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday before returning home to play the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.