The Nets are expected to test rosters with Ben Simmons at center next season, as reported by NetsDaily. Head coach Steve Nash discussed Simmons’ unique ability to play and defend in multiple positions at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.
“I think he plays both [point guard and center]”, Nash said. “He’s just such a complete and versatile athlete and a talented player that I think it would be limiting to say, ‘Hey, you have to manage the ball all the time. You have to facilitate the offense all the time. That’s what’s special about him, it’s the varied skills that he brings to the table.
“So, yes, he will facilitate and be the leader. He will also sometimes be the center. Other times, he’ll be the guy who plays basketball out of position, trying to create offense in the half court. So for me, it’s playing to your strengths, which are varied, and all those things are part of that.
Brooklyn can play Simmons up front, but if they start Nicolas Claxton at center, the fit can get awkward with two non-shooters. However, the team has several top shooters in the league, including Kyrie Irving, Patty Mills, Seth Curry, Joe Harris and Kevin Durant to partially offset this problem.
Here are some other notes from Brooklyn:
- Since there seems to be no desire to trade Simmons, Brian Lewis of the New York Post examines the challenges and potential benefits of using it. Simmons is a versatile defender and solid playmaker who struggles to shoot. At 6-foot-11, 240 pounds, he’s also a strong finisher, but his primary position is still unclear with this Nets team.
A panel of ESPN analysts discuss senior writer Kevin Pelton’s decision to classify the Nets’ offseason as D+. Pelton mentions how the team traded a first-round pick for Royce O’Neale, and how there’s still some uncertainty about Irving and Durant’s future.
- Speaking of Irving and Durant, we recently took a look at the duo’s latest. As SNYtv’s Ian Begley heard, sources around the situation were pessimistic that a Durant trade would be finalized soon at the end of last month. Irving, on the other hand, would focus on sticking with Brooklyn early in the season.