Simmons has been a disappointment in his time with the Nets after being acquired from the 76ers in the James Harden trade in February 2021. Injuries have had plenty to do with that, as Simmons is currently out with back and foot issues, with no timeframe given for his return.
But sources have told Hoops Wire there are likely other things at play, questioning Simmons’ desire in the process. Simmons sat out all of last season, first with the Sixers and then with the Nets, after requesting a trade from Philadelphia.
He underwent back surgery in the offseason, and was expected to serve as the ultimate complement next to former Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Both of those players, of course, have since been traded — and Brooklyn has become a team of guys who play hard and give great effort under coach Jacque Vaughn.
With that in mind, it’s hard to know if Simmons still fits. Paul and Klutch Sports have decided he doesn’t fit with them any longer, and you have to wonder if the Nets aren’t far from reaching a similar conclusion — if they haven’t already.
As Shelburne noted, Klutch negotiated Simmons’ five-year, $177 million contract extension with the 76ers in 2019.
“He just needed a fresh start,” Shelburne quoted a source as saying about Simmons’ parting of ways with the agency.