Ben Simmons has been cleared for three-on-three basketball activities, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.
Although there is much uncertainty as to whether Kevin Durant will never be suitable for Nets, Simmons seems on track to finally make his Brooklyn debut this fall. Simmons hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2021 playoffs.
Simmons underwent back surgery in early May. At the time, the Nets released a statement saying Simmons needed to “recover fully before the start of training camp next season.”
It looks like Simmons is staying on that schedule. He is on track to be cleared for full five-on-five activities in the coming weeks, adds Charania, in hopes he will be ready to go when the camps open in late September.
Simmons underwent a microdiscectomy to relieve pain from a herniated disc after seeing “several back specialists”. He was diagnosed with a herniated L-4 disc in his lower spine and received an epidural to ease the pain late last season, but couldn’t make enough progress to get back into action .
Simmons, who has also dealt with mental health issues, is under contract until 24/25 and will earn $112.7 million over the next three seasons.
Trade negotiations involving Durant were complicated due to the contract Simmons received with Philadelphia. The Designated Rookie Extension Rule prevents teams from acquiring two players who have signed five-year rookie ladder extensions.