Last season, the Ben Simmons trade saga was one of the biggest stories in the NBA. After struggling against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 postseason, he decided it was time to end his association with the Philadelphia 76ers.
While the former No. 1 pick demanded a trade, Daryl Morey remained patient until they found a suitable package. Hours before the trade deadline, a move was agreed to send James Harden to Philly in exchange for the disgruntled star.
Since the trade, Ben Simmons is yet to make an appearance for the Brooklyn Nets. However, the three-time All-Star finally spoke out about his situation with former teammate JJ Redick on “The Old Man and The Three” podcast.
During the interview, they discussed the playoff series that led to Ben Simmons’ falling out with the Sixers. He stated that to play at a high level on both ends can be very demanding. He said:
“Especially in the playoffs, I think it’s tough. It’s obviously tough in the playoffs but playing both sides of the ball is extremely tiring.
“It’s fun getting to guard the best players in the world. It’s fun like it’s taxing but it’s fun.”
Ben Simmons is the biggest X-factor for the Brooklyn Nets this season
While it looked like the Brooklyn Nets were going to look very different this season, they managed to keep their core intact. With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving leading the team, they are back in the title conversation.
There are countless players on the Nets’ roster who can be seen as X-factors, but Ben Simmons is at the top of the list. After sitting out for an entire season, it will be interesting to see how he comes back this season.
If Simmons can return to his All-Star self, then the Nets are going to be a tough team to compete with. This trio can compete with just about anyone in the NBA. Most importantly, the 26 year old will give the defense a big boost.
Durant and Irving are more than capable of providing firepower on the offensive end, but can be attacked on defense. As one of the league’s most versatile defenders, Simmons should provide a major upgrade in that area.
The Nets will be a force to be reckoned with if the three can build good chemistry together.