Newly-acquired Brooklyn Nets swingman Ben Simmons has not played in a game yet this season. When he was still with the 76ers, Simmons cited his mental health as his main reason for not playing.
But now, Simmons has been traded to the Nets, and after arriving in Brooklyn today, appears to be in a better space mentally.
At least, that's what head coach Steve Nash said prior to tonight's game against the Sacramento Kings.
"I think he's in a pretty good place mentally," Nash said, via ESPN. "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."
It's going to take Simmons some time to be physically prepared enough to contribute in a game. After all, he hasn't played in one since last May.
Nash refused to put a definitive timetable on when he expects Simmons to be ready.
"We have to put him in a position to have the necessary conditioning underneath him and to feel safe with it," he said. "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."
While we don't want to speculate on Simmons' mental status, if the former No. 1 overall pick was simply using mental health as an excuse to not play, that's pretty reprehensible. Let's hope that's not the case.
Now, if Simmons has been truthful the whole time and is now finally in a better place mentally, that's great to hear. We're looking forward to seeing him out on the court again soon.