Reports: Nets’ Ben Simmons likely to return soon

Just a couple of weeks before the NBA’s trade deadline, the Brooklyn Nets could be welcoming back Ben Simmons as early as Monday, according to multiple reports.

Simmons has been out the past two and a half months but was in line to practice with the team’s G League affiliate, Long Island, in the coming days.

Out since Nov. 6 because of lower back problems, Simmons put up averages of 6.5 points, 6.7 assists and 10.8 rebounds over six games.

After missing the 2021-22 season following his trade from Philadelphia to Brooklyn, he played 42 games in 2022-23 and registered per-game averages of 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists.

Simmons, 27, won Rookie of the Year honors, is a two-time All-Defense first-teamer and a three-time All-Star.

The Nets (17-26), who are 11th in the Eastern Conference, play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday and the Houston Rockets on Saturday before hosting the Utah Jazz Monday.