When the trade was made, the Nets front office surely hoped that Simmons would be able to regain the form he enjoyed earlier in his career when he was named to three straight All-Star games.
Unfortunately for the team, Simmons hasn’t looked anything close to the player he once was, and that’s led NBA insider Brian Windhorst to declare Simmons’ contract as one of the worst three in the entire NBA.
Zach Lowe: “The biggest issue in BKN wasn't Kyrie, it wasn't Harden…it was Ben Simmons. He's a 0, Simmons has $80m owed to him over the next 2 yrs and doesn't produce."
Windhorst: “Its one of the worst 3 contracts in the NBA”
Lowe: "Is he even a starter now?"
(The Lowe Post) pic.twitter.com/mkJOu0qEYN
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) February 7, 2023
Simmons is still on the deal he signed with his former team, the 76ers, for five years and roughly $177 million. He’s being paid $35.4 million this season, $37.9 million next season and $40.3 million in the 2024-25 campaign before finally becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2025.
That kind of money is typically reserved for players who are leaders and stars that consistently appear in the All-Star Game and playoffs. While Simmons may end up in the playoffs after the 2022-23 regular season comes to an end, he obviously won’t be playing in the All-Star Game this year.
His numbers are pretty shocking given the money he’s being paid. In 37 games this season, he’s averaging 7.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game.
This is the first season of his career in which he’s averaging under 14 points per game. His rebound and assist averages are also the lowest of his career.
The crazy thing is that Simmons could still turn his career around. Fans and analysts alike already know that he is capable of producing at a much higher level than he is right now. At his best, Simmons was considered one of the best two-way players in the entire league.
At 26 years old, he could still find his way back to a higher level of play.
Unfortunately, it simply doesn’t seem all that likely at the moment. Whether it is a question of confidence, commitment or something else entirely, Simmons just isn’t the player he used to be.
He’ll be an interesting player to monitor as time goes on.