Nets shutting down Simmons for rest of season

The Brooklyn Nets are shutting down guard Ben Simmons for the rest of the season, coach Jacque Vaughn said Tuesday.

Simmons hasn’t played since the Nets’ final game before the All-Star break last month because of a nerve issue in his back. He has missed a total of 33 games this season with knee and back injuries.

After sitting out all of last season, Simmons has seen a steep decline from his days as an All-Star with the Philadelphia 76ers, posting career lows in minutes (26.3), points (6.9), rebounds (6.3), assists (6.1) and free throw percentage (43.9) this season.

Simmons, 26, has another two years remaining on his contract, paying him $37.8 million in 2023-24 and $40.3 million in 2024-25.

The Nets, meanwhile, are fighting to stay out of the play-in and enter Tuesday’s games tied with the Miami Heat for the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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