Finally, the Nets may get a real look at Ben Simmons. They’ve gotten some shorter ones, and even some at the start of a season.
But when it comes to Simmons over the past few years, no one knows what to expect. Until now, coach Jacque Vaughn told reporters.
Simmons appeared in just 42 games last season. Now, he will be a full participant at the start of training camp, receiving clearance to go 5-on-5 just like everyone else.
“Pretty simple that way which is good for me to say, and I think that fits into an exciting time for me to have this group together,” Vaughn said. “No restrictions at the beginning of the year — get to form an identity together, get to form some relationships at the beginning of the year, a style of play, so really looking forward to the challenge and getting to training camp because of that.”
Vaughn added that he is hopeful Simmons can create scoring opportunities for the likes of Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and Spencer Dinwiddie, as we relayed here. And creating offense (and perimeter defense) was Simmons’ forte earlier in his career. Maybe he can get back to that now.
“I think at that time I was at a place where as a coach I’m always gonna have a standard, and that standard is of what I expect guys on the team to do, how we want them to play and ask them to do things for the sake of the team,” Vaughn said. “I think Ben’s and I’s relationship is in such a good place right now because we’ve been able to talk through that moment of our lives where I expected him to do things that I’ve come to understand physically he wasn’t able to do.
“I think at that time, you kept hearing me talk about force, and those things and how I wanted him to play. And so now, a revelation where I’ve seen the work he’s put in, where he was at, some of those things have been revealed to me. I think that’s why our relationship is at a really good place right now, but the things I’m going to ask him to do going forward, I think he can physically do now. So it does put us in a position where I can use multiple lineups, put different people around him so we can have success on both ends of the floor.”