The Nets are expected to test lineups with Ben Simmons at center next season, as NetsDaily outlines. Head coach Steve Nash discussed Simmons’ unique ability to play and defend multiple positions when the 2021/22 campaign ended.
“I think he plays both (point guard and center),” Nash said. “He’s just such a well-rounded, versatile athlete and skilled player that I think it would be limiting to say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to handle the ball all the time. You have to facilitate the offense all the time.’ That’s what’s special about him is the varied skills he brings to the table.
“So, yes, he’ll facilitate and be the point guard. He’ll also sometimes be the center. Other times he’ll be the guy that’s just playing position-less basketball, trying to create offense in the halfcourt. So for me, it’s playing to his strengths, which are varied, and all those things are a part of it.”
Brooklyn can play Simmons at forward, but if they start Nicolas Claxton at center, the fit may become awkward with two non-shooters. However, the team does have several top shooters in the league, including Kyrie Irving, Patty Mills, Seth Curry, Joe Harris and Kevin Durant, to partially offset that issue.
Here are some other notes out of Brooklyn:
- Since there appears to be no inclination to trade Simmons, Brian Lewis of the New York Post (member-only link) examines the challenges and potential upside in using him. Simmons is a versatile defender and strong play-maker who struggles with shooting. At 6’11” and 240 pounds, he’s also a strong finisher, but his primary position is still unclear with this Nets team.
- A panel of ESPN analysts (video link) discuss senior writer Kevin Pelton’s decision to grade the Nets’ offseason as a D-plus. Pelton didn’t love that the team traded a first-round pick for Royce O’Neale and cited the lingering uncertainty surrounding Irving and Durant’s futures.
- Speaking of Irving and Durant, we recently examined the latest on the duo. As SNY.tv’s Ian Begley relayed, sources around the situation were pessimistic about a Durant trade being finalized anytime soon. Irving, on the other hand, is reportedly focused on staying with Brooklyn entering the season.