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Steve Nash Explains When Ben Simmons Will Be Ready To Help The Nets: "I Think He's In A Pretty Good Place... He'll Be Ready To Play Mentally When He's Physically Ready."

Steve Nash Explains When Ben Simmons Will Be Ready To Help The Nets: "I Think He's In A Pretty Good Place... He'll Be Ready To Play Mentally When He's Physically Ready."

Ben Simmons has been wanting out of Philadelphia since the end of last season, going to levels that are almost unheard of to get a move away from the franchise. The former All-Star sat out the entirety of the season losing a significant chunk of his salary instead of reintegrating with the Sixers after their falling out following the Eastern Conference semifinals loss against the Atlanta Hawks. 

All of that is behind him now though, a new chapter in his career has begun with the Brooklyn Nets. Ben was spotted at Nets practice for the first time since the trade on Monday ahead of their blowout win over the Sacramento Kings and looked quite happy to be there with his new teammates. Naturally, this led to questions about when Simmons would be ready to feature for his new team, something that coach Steve Nash had a slightly vague answer for (via ESPN). 

"I think he's in a pretty good place mentally," Nash said prior to Monday night's game against the Sacramento Kings. "And if we work with him here, in conjunction with his physical ramp-up, to make sure he's comfortable on and off the floor, I think he'll be ready to play mentally when he's physically ready."

"That's on the performance team. They're going to walk through an assessment and his return to play and ramp-up and all that. It's been a long period of non-NBA activity, so we'll see how they put his program together and how long it takes."

"We have to put him in a position to have the necessary conditioning underneath him and to feel safe with it. And then he also has to feel confident and comfortable that the time has come. So whenever that is, hopefully, there's a great partnership on those decisions."

Considering that Simmons hasn't played a minute of competitive basketball in nearly a year, his conditioning is likely to take some time to return. Meanwhile, the pieces that came over in the trade with him already seem to be helping the Nets, considering Seth Curry's impressive night in the win over the Kings. If the Nets can build Ben's fitness back up in conjunction with Kevin Durant's recovery and reach the playoffs relatively healthy, they could just make a run at the championship like was initially expected.