New York - Nets star Kevin Durant admitted on Thursday that he will not be back as speculation surrounding Ben Simmons' debut potential for the Brooklyn Nets continues to be discussed within the NBA. Boston Celtics vs. Eastern Conference quarter-final match.
"I do not expect him to play," Durant said after Thursday's training session. "It's easier for me. Ben does not force me to go out and jump, so I do not expect him to do anything to get his body right and healthy as soon as possible. My mind is as prepared as if we were playing against a team we have."
Simmons, who was acquired by the Nets just before the February trading deadline for the Philadelphia 76ers in February, has not played in the NBA for nearly a year after requesting a trade with the Sixers last season. Simmons has been dealing with some back pain since late February and it has not been clear whether he will be involved in any training since arriving in Brooklyn. Nets coach Steve Nash said on Thursday that Simmons has not yet launched a "basketball cooler" and is continuing its individual rehab work.
"It's just behind Ben," Nash said. "No one else depends on me except his back. How can this be overcome? Good. We have to focus on the team. He and Ben support his journey back to the floor, but at the same time do not have time to focus on the team playing.
"Ben is a franchise foundation, but for now he is involved in training the team to get back to the floor, both physically and mentally, to get the best footwork in the first few games of the series. At home we're not sitting in Ben's comeback's this series and talking about what will happen."
For his part, Durant said he did not even think about whether Simmons would return at the end of the season.
"I did not even think about it," Durant said of the emotional upheaval that could have resulted from Simmons' return. We all know what kind of player Ben is and we can keep in mind what he will look like. But I did not go there for one day. time."
Nash recently stated that he will have no problem with his Nets debut in the Simmons and Playoff games. When Simmons asked why he was so confident in what he had been playing in an NBA game, Nash's answer was simple.
"He is a very good player." If he is healthy I think he should be given a chance. "
Simmons' debut could provide a stepping stone to the Nets, who have struggled with injuries and setbacks every season, veteran goalkeeper Goran Dragic said on Thursday.
"It feels good to have an extra body," Dragic said. "It's unique that he can bring his skills and schedule. It can change from 1 to 5. He is a very good defender. So he can push with speed. He is a very good passer, so it is another type of trainer.
"We also have a big body for offensive and defensive recovery. [Andre] Drummond and Ben, who will definitely be there to help you get out of KD, that's a big category."
"Yes," Nash said, considering the possibility of having Simmons on the list, "but not tomorrow."
"Every time he comes back," Nash said. "So when we do business, I think everyone is thinking about how Ben would fit in with our team. But it is not like sitting here all the time and waiting for him. He will be back when he is ready. "Very good, but in the meantime we are sure to give the team the opportunity to coach and compete without him."