Nash says Ben Simmons still has ‘a lot of milestones to reach’ as reports surface over playoff availability

Ben Simmons Nets
Ben Simmons during warmups against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons took part in some light shooting drills during warmups on Sunday ahead of the Nets’ regular-season finale at Barclays Center, but there are still a lot of milestones for Simmons to reach before he’s back on the court according to Nets coach Steve Nash.

Questions have continued to persist surrounding the status of the 25-year-old point guard. Simmons, who was acquired by the Nets in the trade that sent James Harden to Philadelphia, has yet to make his Nets debut.

“He’s doing a little bit of movement,” Nash said. “Still 1-on-0 stuff. He’s still got a lot of milestones to reach, but it’s positive. At least he’s moving around a little bit.”

Nets fans were thrown into a bit of a tizzy after Brooklyn’s social media team published a video on Twitter that featured Simmons doing some work at a team practice. Simmons isn’t expected to return to the floor until at least the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Things got even more interesting after Simmons was seen on the court doing some work prior to Sunday’s game and then two of basketball’s most prominent insiders reported that hope was rising that he could be back to make his debut during the first round of the playoffs.

“There’s optimism Nets star Ben Simmons could make debut during the first round of the NBA playoffs as long as his progression continues in strengthening his legs and back,” The Athletic’s Shams  Charania Tweeted. “Simmons has been ramping up his workload and is expected to continue doing so.”

Moments later ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported similar news during a hit on the World Wide Leader.

Simmons has been working to get back onto the court since he came to Brooklyn in February. It was reported that the team and Simmons had eyed a return by Mid-March, but a herniated disc in his back slowed his return to action.