There's suddenly 'optimism' surrounding Simmons' timeline


The last time we heard news on the Ben Simmons front, he was being ruled out of playing through the play-in tournament, which takes place this coming week. 

But if the Nets get out of the play-in tournament and into the actual playoffs, it suddenly sounds like things might be different.

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Sunday afternoon that Brooklyn has "optimism" that the ex-Sixers star could return for the first round of the playoffs:

VERY interesting.

This comes one day after Nets head coach Steve Nash said Simmons had "a lot of milestones to reach":

"'He's doing a little bit of movement, still 1-on-0 stuff. He's still got a lot of milestones to reach, but it’s positive,' Nash said. 'He's moving around a little bit.'


"'I think he looks really positive, happy, encouraged,' Nash said. 'He's just working away at his rehab."

This could make things fairly spicy. The Nets are currently locked into the 7 vs. 8 play-in game, and if they win that game they'll be the No. 7 seed facing either the Bucks or Celtics. If they lose the first play-in game, they'll get another chance at the No. 8 seed, where they'll face the Heat.

READ: Sixers facing unusual uncertainty on the wing with playoffs near


Those are good teams, but they're certainly not unbeatable - especially when Brooklyn has two of the best players in the NBA in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. You simply never know what could happen in a series with those two guys.

We'll have more clarity on the Sixers' playoff situation following Sunday's final games of the regular season, but depending on where the Sixers land and where the Nets land it's completely possible that the Sixers and Nets could meet in the second round.

And Game 1 would be in Philly, where Simmons would actually take the court for the first time since being traded to Brooklyn for Harden - assuming this recent "optimism" prevails.

It's an absolutely explosive concept. It would be amazing. I hope it happens. 

We'll see.