Ben Simmons Still Isn't Playing Actual Basketball

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets
Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets / Elsa/GettyImages

Ben Simmons is still injured. I know that won't exactly come as a shock to dedicated NBA fans but, yes, it's true.

After missing the entire 2021-22 season with a back issue, Simmons only played in 42 games during the 2022-23 campaign for the Brooklyn Nets before shutting things down. He didn't play after February 15 due to another back injury. It appears things haven't gotten much better.

The 26-year-old point guard had claimed he wanted to play for Australia at the FIBA World Cup this summer, but apparently that's not happening. According to Nets general manager Sean Marks, Simmons still isn't playing 5-on-5 or even 3-on-3 in workouts.

Simmons is heading into the fourth season of a five-year, $177 million contract. The Nets owe him $37.9 million for the 2023-24 campaign and $40.3 million for the 2024-25 season. Unfortunately for Brooklyn, he's a rapidly declining player.

This past season, Simmons averaged career-lows in points (6.9), rebounds (6.3), assists (6.1), steals (1.3) and minutes (26.3) per game. He also shot a career-worst 43.9 percent from the free throw line. It was ugly.

Simmons underwent back surgery in May of 2022 to repair a herniated disc. He was healthy enough to open the season with the team, but couldn't finish it. Who knows if he'll ever be fully healthy again.