Will Simmons return to all-star level?

November 3, 2023 BY

On court: Former NBA first round draft pick Ben Simmons is back in action for the Brooklyn Nets, but some are questioning where he can go from here. Photo: GARETH PATTERSON/ AP

BEN Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets returned to action over the weekend upon the resumption of the NBA season, losing the first two games of competition.

Averaging 27.5 minutes per game thus far, Simmons finally looks capable of contributing for Brooklyn as he now aims to live up to the hype that saw him taken first in the 2016 NBA Draft.

In his first two outings, Simmons is posting averages of seven points, 10 rebounds, eight assists to go along with a steal and a block per game.

Serving as the Nets’ primary ball handler, the 27-year-old is still yet to fully assert himself on his side’s offence and is continuing to show an unwillingness to attack the basket as he used to.

Former Dallas Maverick and Memphis Grizzlies player Chandler Parsons has deflated the hype around Simmons’ comeback season, ruling out any chance he returns to his all-star level form.

“That ship sailed,” Parsons said on Run it Back.

“I’d love to see him out there playing. I just don’t understand where’s that aggressiveness, where’s that versatility?

“That’s the power of social media, I almost started television seeing these highlights and videos thinking, ‘Oh sh*t, he’s back’, then the game starts and he gets timid.

“He’s 6 foot 10, he has that frame that can go coast-to-coast, he has great vision dropping dimes.

“He plays scared, I don’t know what happened and how he got here, the fact he’s playing and he’s healthy, that’s a good start, the idea that he will turn into this 20 [points] and 10 [assists] all-star is not possible.”

Parsons, who struggled his entire NBA career with injuries as well has called out Simmons on previous occasions for his lack of drive when playing for the Nets.

Currently on the backend of a five-year, $177 million USD deal, Parsons claimed Simmons will not come close to a major contract again and suggested he will be on minimum salary deals for the rest of his career.

“He was a heck of a player and he’s athletic, he’s got a strong build, he’s got great vision, he has all the tools physically to be a successful player in this league,” Parsons said in March 2023.

“I’ve seen flashes, he’ll go grab that rebound go coast-to-coast and finish… it’s a strong mental block in my opinion where he just can’t overcome it.

“We almost have to stop talking about it, we have to take him for what he is, I think eventually it’s going to lead to a (contract) buyout and he’s most likely (going to be) a minimum player for the rest of his career.

“Until he magically shows us he can play and produce at a high level, it’s really crazy how big of a turn this is taking on a guy.”