The departure of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant should have made the Ben Simmons starring in the Brooklyn Nets.
The Australian, however, continues to struggle tremendously and in the derby against the New York Knicks, which he lost 124-106, he played only 13 minutes, his season low.
In the postgame, coach Jacque Vaughn explained that he is struggling to figure out how to use him. The coach gave many details about the tactical problems due to Simmons’ presence on the court.
It is not easy for me to figure out in which quintets he can be useful to us. If we put a long guy beside him we have problems in spacing. If there is another ball handler we have to figure out what to do with him when he doesn’t have the ball. If we deploy him as a long man we run the risk of suffering on rebounding. Figuring out how to use him is a challenge, I have to understand which teammates can enhance his characteristics and make him comfortable, it is my job to find a solution even by inventing quintets specifically for him.
In short, at the moment a player making $35 million a year is more of a problem than an asset. And next year the Australian will earn 38, the next 40. With this salary Vaughn has to figure out how he can exploit Simmons because the chances of giving him up are practically zero.