NBA rumors: Ben Simmons availability, level of play subject to frustration with the nets | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors

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Ben Simmons’ experience with the Brooklyn Nets got off to a disastrous start as members of the organization began to grow frustrated with the three-time All-Star.

By The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amickfrustration around Simmons “has built up in recent weeks” with coaches and teammates “concerned about his availability and level of play, with some questioning his passion for the game”.

Simmons was reportedly a key topic at a players-only meeting following the Nets’ 125-116 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Oct. 29:

“Sources with direct knowledge of the meeting, but who were granted anonymity so they could speak freely, say that at this meeting, Markieff Morris— a veteran leader on those Nets — explained in front of all of his teammates that they needed Simmons to succeed and that he had to react when he faced adversity on the field. These sources all described a meeting where Simmons appeared to take Morris’s words lightly and was responsive and attentive throughout. »

Charania and Amick noted that Nets team officials and teammates are “in regular contact with Simmons about how to make him comfortable.”

Things have been a mess in Brooklyn since the offseason, when Kevin Durant wanted to be traded if general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash weren’t fired.

Although neither was let go at the time, Nash separate ways with the Nets on Nov. 1 after a 2-5 start this season.

Kyrie Irving is still serving a suspension after promoting a film containing anti-Semitic tropes and misinformation and refusing to condemn anti-Semitism at subsequent press conferences. He issued a excuses to all “Jewish families and communities who are hurt and affected by my post” on November 3.

On the court, Simmons has been one of the biggest disappointments in the NBA so far. The 26-year-old is averaging just 5.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 26.6 minutes per game. All of those are on the verge of being career low totals for him.

Simmons missed four straight games from Oct. 31 to Nov. 5 with left knee pain. He’s come off the bench in each of his last four games since returning to the lineup Nov. 7.

Tuesday’s 153-121 loss to the Sacramento Kings marked the first time all season that Simmons scored at least 10 points in a game (11). He only attempted 17 free throws in 10 appearances.

It was reasonable to expect some level of rust from Simmons to start this season. He missed the entire 2021-22 campaign due to mental health issues and back injuries which required microdiscectomy surgery in May.

The Nets acquired Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers as part of a package for James Harden on Feb. 10. He needed to add the game to their offense and bolster their defensive presence.

Instead, the Nets find themselves in last place in the Atlantic Division with a 6-9 record. They rank in the bottom half of the NBA in offensive and defensive ratings, per Basketball Reference.

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