East Notes: Nets, Ben Simmons, Sixers, Heat


Nets guard Ben Simmons said he is looking forward to his return to Philadelphia to play the 76ers on Nov. 22.

“I can’t wait to go there, yeah. But for me, everything’s an experience and a learning situation,” Simmons said, via Nick Friedell of ESPN. “So for me I’m able to learn something that I’ve never been through before. I’ve never been traded and played against a team that I got traded from. (Kevin Durant) has, (Kyrie Irving) has, a lot of guys have, but I’ve never been in that situation so — you have to go through it. Ky went back to Boston, and he didn’t play well, but it’s a lot. We’re people, too. We want to go out there and prove everyone wrong.”

Simmons has finally played after more than a year away, his last game coming with the Sixers in the 2021 playoffs. He indicated he is in a much better place mentally today.

“It’s taken a lot of work. But that’s a part of my life, everyday routine now, is working on myself, staying in that place,’ Simmons said, via Friedell. “Everyone has down times and things like that, but just acknowledging what you know about yourself and what puts you in those places, and then how to get out of it.


Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said he didn’t deliberately surround guard James Harden with fellow former Rockets, but it doesn’t hurt that it worked out that way.

Morey was the GM of the Rockets during the Harden era. Sixers forwards P.J. Tucker, Montrezl Harrell and Danuel House also were members of Houston when Harden and Morey were there.

“If you have had a player, whether it be with [coach Doc Rivers] or myself, it can lower the risk,” Morey said, via Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Because you don’t really know a player until you’ve worked directly with them on your team. So I do think there’s an information advantage when you’ve worked with them before. … It all sort of fell, and it’s created a pretty interesting and, I think, positive dynamic because there is a lot of familiarity, both with the players together and also the coaching staff.”

  • The Sixers have guaranteed the contract of forward/center Paul Reed for the upcoming season, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Reed, 23, is entering his third NBA season, all with Philadelphia, and has become a key member of the rotation.


Reigning Sixth Man of the Year and Heat guard Tyler Herro has joined forward Caleb Martin as newcomers to the starting lineup, and both indicated the are pleased with the roles.

Herro and Martin join forward Jimmy Butler, center Bam Adebayo and point guard Kyle Lowry for coach Erik Spoelstra.

“Having Jimmy, Kyle, Bam out there with me allows me to play off the ball a little bit more,” Herro said, via Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “It allows me to just be a spacer. If I’m open, they kick to me and I just knock it down or play out of a close-out. It’s hard to guard me when guys are closing out to me.”

With Martin and Butler at forwards, the Heat frontcourt is fairly small. Also, Adebayo is power forward by nature. But the Heat players seem to be confident in the moves.

“I think Caleb has been doing exceptionally well,” Butler said, via Chiang. “I’m talking about switching, making shots, being aggressive, being a great teammate. It’s tough to do what (former Heat forward P.J. Tucker) does, but I think Caleb does it extremely well.”

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