The 2021/22 NBA season ended for Ben Simmons and the player didn't play a single minute with the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. The point guard cited mental health issues and then back issues as the reasons he didn't suit up with the Sixers and Nets.
Ben just underwent back surgery, confirming he was ok and ready to start the rehab process. This is great news for the Nets, who hope to have the player healthy and ready to go next season to get revenge on the Eastern Conference.
However, he could start the season with a new team, as one analyst recently claimed. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report recently wrote a piece about the superstars who could get a sidekick, and Ben Simmons could be that one for Trae Young.
Atlanta Hawks receive: Ben Simmons and Cam Thomas
Brooklyn Nets receive: Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanovic and No. 16 pick
When the Hawks searched for Trae Young's co-star earlier this season, they gave serious consideration to tabbing Ben Simmons for the role. Atlanta was reportedly the "most engaged" Simmons suitor leading up to the deadline, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.
Who says the Hawks can't go back to that well?
The pairing of Young, the league's only player to average 25 points and nine assists this season (and last), and Simmons, arguably the Association's most versatile defender, remains fascinating on paper. Each has a razor-sharp strength that could help cover the other's glaring weakness, and they could make magic together in transition and pick-and-rolls.
This could be an interesting idea for the Hawks. They would add a defensive specialist and somebody who could work with and without the ball in his hands. Trae would surely benefit from this, having more chances to emulate what he did in 2021, leading his team to the Eastern Conference finals.
Simmons has already raised eyebrows in Brooklyn for not playing in Game 4 of their first-round series vs. the Boston Celtics, so a move away from Barclays Center isn't ruled out for the 25-year-old.