Ben Simmons, when healthy, is an All-Star level player and one of the best defensive players and playmakers in the league. He was notably in the DPOY running during the 2020-21 season.
Recently, coach Rick Pitino shared his belief that Ben Simmons can play a "Draymond Green" role for the Brooklyn Nets next season. He noted that "every team" needs that kind of player, and pointed out that Ben Simmons is a "playmaker" and "defensive player". Adam Zagoria of NJ.com relayed the news.
Pitino, who coached the Knicks and Celtics in the NBA and now coaches Iona, believes Simmons, who missed all of last season due to issues relating to his back and mental health, can play a Draymond Green-type role with the Nets, who open training camp Sept. 27.
“Every team needs a Draymond Green and I think Simmons probably will serve that role,” he said. “He’s the play-maker, he’s the defensive player.”
There is no doubt that Ben Simmons could potentially thrive next to two lethal scorers in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, just like Draymond Green finds success next to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. His limited offensive game will be less of an issue on the Brooklyn Nets than it was on the Philadelphia 76ers, and we could end up witnessing him have one of the best years of his career.
With the news that Kevin Durant will stay with the franchise, the Brooklyn Nets should be a contender next season. They have three star-level players and an experienced supporting cast. It is quite possible that they will make it out of the Eastern Conference next year, but they will have to put in the work in terms of chemistry to get that far. They definitely have the talent to win it all, though, and hopefully, things end up working out for Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets.