NEW YORK — Ben Simmons won’t play again this season because of a nerve injury in his back, ending his disappointing first full season with the Brooklyn Nets after just 42 games.
Simmons saw multiple specialists this week who determined that he should be shut down for the season because of a nerve impingement and begin a rehabilitation program. Coach Jacque Vaughn said Tuesday a full recovery was expected.
It’s the second straight year that Simmons was unable to play because of a back injury. He had surgery in the offseason to repair a disk problem, but was bothered this season by a sore left knee before his back problems returned.
Simmons finishes with averages of 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists.
The No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft didn’t play after the All-Star break in February. The 26-year-old had fallen out of the starting lineup before that, unable to regain the form that earned his three All-Star selections in Philadelphia.
He was traded to the Nets last February after initially refusing to play for the 76ers in the 2021-22 season, citing mental health concerns. His back problems then surfaced as he worked to get himself prepared to play for the Nets.
Simmons is making $35.4 million this season, and is due $78.2 million more over the next two seasons.