He was then traded to the Nets in return for star guard James Harden in the biggest trade of the NBA season. While he has been ramping up for a return at some point this season, he has had setbacks in his recovery process from a back injury that pushed back his original return date in March. With only four games left in the regular season, it has been looking more and more unlikely that we will see Simmons return before it was over.
Nets head coach Steve Nash gave an update on the three-time All-Star on Monday, officially ruling him out for the rest of the regular season. Nash also added that he would be “shocked” if Simmons played in the team’s play-in game next week, likely ruling him out for a return then either.
While this obviously seems like terrible news for the Nets, Nash did say that he remains hopeful that Simmons could return at some point in the playoffs, should the team make it out of the play-in tournament.
It has not been the season that the Nets were hoping for to this point, as they currently sit as the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference. While they have mostly been disappointing so far, Brooklyn is still extremely talented with superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving leading the team.
They will likely be heavy favorites to make it out of the play-in tournament, and getting a player of Simmons’ caliber back at some point could be crucial to the team’s hopes of a deep playoff run this season.