Ben Simmons and his camp will sit down with the Nets and hammer out a plan for the ensuing months, one intended to put him on the best path to both physical and mental health and a successful return to court.
“We will work together with the Nets on a summer plan,” a source close to Simmons told The Post. “Everyone is confident.”
The Nets want the Simmons rehabbing to be in Brooklyn as much as possible, putting Philadelphia as far in the review mirror as he can. The 25-year-old is finally offloading his South Jersey mansion, which can only help toward that end, one small step.
Simmons – who forced a trade from the 76ers to the Nets on Feb. 10, but didn’t play at all this past season – sold his suburban mansion in Moorestown, NJ, for $ 4.55 million, and has his condo in the Ritz Carlton Residences in downtown Philadelphia on the market as well. Both listings were reported by The Dirt.
The 10,500-foot South Jersey mansion – which is about 40 minutes from where the 76ers practice in Camden – was bought by Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos. Right after Simmons demanded a trade from the 76ers last fall, he put his Center City condo on the market for $ 3.1 million. It’s now listed for just under $ 3 million.
Simmons had microdiscectomy surgery on May 4 to address a herniated L-4 disk in his lower back. He’s natural to need three months of rehab, but PHYSICALLY to be ready for training camp, which is natural to start in September.
Simmons, who has seen a therapist, mental health issues cited in Philadelphia. He and agent Rich Paul sat down with Nets general manager Sean Marks to discuss what the team could do to help facilitate his return to the court.
“From the communications I’ve had with him multiple times since the surgery, he’s feeling relief already and feeling great. He knows that, it goes back to that five months, he has a big buildup to get ready and contribute, ”Marks said. “Regarding Ben post-surgery, I don’t want to speak for him, but I can sense there’s a relief. There’s a new lease on life, so to speak. When you are able to take a problem and say that should be fixed and move that out of here and now it’s on to the rest. ”
Sixers president Daryl Morey has acknowledged an inability to build an appropriate rapport with Simmons, and the team could not get him to be open with their mental health professionals. Whether Simmons chooses to use those employed by the Nets, Marks has said getting him around HSS Training Center and around his teammates and coaches as much as possible will be vital.
“[The question] of how do we support him through the mental performance side of things, that’s a touchy subject, ”Marks said. “I don’t want to talk about someone’s mental health or mental performance. I’m going to let Ben address that at the correct time. I will say this: Whether it’s the NBA or whether, what everyone’s been going through, I look around and I’d love to [see] if there’s anyone out there who hasn’t had some type of mental fatigue over the last two years.
“This has not been easy for Anybody. I’m not making an excuse with anyone in the pro sports area, but we all need support. And we’re coming to it through. And same for Ben. We’re doing everything we possible can to get our group around him. That is the key. He needs to be in here, smell the gym again, around his friends, his family and to participate in this around and let us help him build a culture together. Build up together, build him back up. ”
Northwest Missouri State guard Trevor Hudgins had a predraft workout at HSS Training Center last week, according to his Instagram story. … Long Island Nets standout Craig Randall – the D-League’s second-leading scorer – attended free-agent camp with the Knicks. The Nets hold his rights in the G-League, but not the NBA, so he’s an unrestricted free agent.