Report: Nets’ Ben Simmons targeting return within Games 4-6 of Celtics series
After missing the entire regular season, Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons appears to be nearing a return.
The Athletic‘s Shams Charania reported Thursday that Simmons is targeting a return between April 25 and 29, which is within the Games 4-to-6 range of Brooklyn’s first-round series with the Boston Celtics.
Simmons hasn’t played since last season’s playoffs, when he was a member of the Philadephia 76ers. Simmons did not show up to 76ers training camp to start this season, demanded a trade out of Philadelphia, subsequently sitting out all regular games until he was traded. The 76ers withheld nearly $20 million of Simmons’ salary over that span, which he recently filed a grievance about, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Bobby Marks and Adrian Wojnarowski.
The 76ers dealt the three-time All-Star to the Nets in a blockbuster for James Harden at the NBA’s trade deadline, but Simmons still has yet to play a game. The 25-year-old received an epidural shot for a herniated disk in March, but has resumed practising.
Nets head coach Steve Nash had previously ruled out a Simmons return for the play-in game, which Brooklyn won over the Cleveland Cavaliers to secure the No. 7 seed. Before that game, he said there was “no timetable for his return.”
The Nets-Celtics series begins on Sunday.