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Nets reportedly will gauge Ben Simmons’ trade value this summer

Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets

BROOKLYN, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles the ball during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on February 11, 2023 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

They may have been wabbling before this, but the moment the wheels really fell off in Brooklyn was when the Nets were forced to trade James Harden and got Ben Simmons back as a key part of the package. Simmons was slowed by injury last season, and this season he has lost all confidence in his shot, and his game, and he has fallen from an All-NBA level player a few years ago to playing primarily as a backup five for the Nets now.

When talking about the Nets’ next steps — which role players do they keep, who do they trade, do they bottom out? — the first question is, what about Simmons? Jake Fischer touched on it at Yahoo Sports.

The Nets are widely expected to gauge what trade market could materialize for Simmons after his disappointing campaign comes to a close. The three-time All-Star is still far from the form he exhibited during his best days in Philadelphia.

Simmons’ trade value has cratered. Simmons has two years, $77.9 million fully guaranteed on his contract, making this situation similar to the one the Lakers were in with Russell Westbrook — no team is taking on that Simmons contract without multiple first-round picks added as sweeteners. Brooklyn may be better off trying to find a way to raise his trade value, but with that contract they will have a tough time.

As for other players, Fischer says the Nets did not listen to offers for Miles Bridges at the deadline, but more offers will come in this summer and they may get too rich to ignore. Watch the Grizzlies, but other teams will call as well. Then there is Cameron Johnson.

The Nets will also face an interesting restricted free agency for Cam Johnson, who was unable to come to an agreement in Phoenix. The Suns, sources said, were not willing to offer Johnson more than $72 million over four seasons.

Anyone paying Johnson that much is betting on his game developing, but at age 26 and entering his sixth season next fall, how much more will his game grow? He brings athleticism and is a career 39% from 3, the skills are there, but will it be enough to get an offer the Nets like?

It’s going to be an interesting off-season in Brooklyn.