Here’s everything we know about Ben SimmonsBrooklyn Nets debut and whether he will play against the Boston Celtics tonight (24 February).

Ben Simmons was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Brooklyn Nets earlier this month in exchange for James Harden, Paul Millsap and two first-round picks.

Now that the All-Star break is over, fans are wondering if Ben Simmons is playing tonight vs the Boston Celtics. Here’s everything we know about his Nets debut.

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Is Ben Simmons playing tonight vs the Boston Celtics?

The Brooklyn Nets host Boston at Barclays Center tonight (February 24) in an Eastern Conference clash. However, unfortunately for Brooklyn fans, Ben Simmons will not be playing tonight vs the Celtics.

The decision was a topic of discussion across various sports media outlets recently. Colin Cowherd spoke about it on his show, while on First Things First, Nick Wright said he was ‘baffled’ Simmons wasn’t playing immediately.

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What we know about Ben Simmons’ Nets debut

During his introductory press conference on 15 February, Ben Simmons said that he hoped to play against the 76ers in Philadelphia in a couple of weeks. The Nets take on his former team on 10 March in Wells Fargo Center.

On Monday 21 February, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported an update about Ben Simmons’ debut on NBA Today.

“Ben Simmons from what I’m told is gonna really ramp it up this week and see where he’s at, at the end of the week,” Shelburne said. “He’s getting close, it’s gonna be more like weeks rather than months.”  

Additionally, Nets President of Basketball Operations Sean Marks said on Tuesday (22 February) that it might be tough for both Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons to return to the court for the Nets this week, but he “wouldn’t bet against them”.

Simmons is working out at the Nets’ practice facility

The first we heard of Simmons’ conditioning came on 1 February when Ramona Shelburne provided an update on his fitness. Simmons has not played a single game this year, but has slowly been working his way back to game-ready conditioning.

Shelbourne wrote in early February: “He has worked out separately with his own group of trainers, according to sources close to Simmons. He has organized his own runs with local players. He has lifted weights at a local fitness club that’s open to the general public.”

More recently, Nets reporter Kristian Winfield reported that Simmons had done individual work but was not a full participant in Nets practice.

This was confirmed when footage of Simmons practicing shooting with Kyle Korver at the Nets practice facility circulated online.

However, head coach Steve Nash cooled early excitement by later revealing that Kevin Durant, who has been rehabbing from a sprained left MCL, is closer to playing that Simmons.

What we do know is that the Nets will not rush Simmons back. The Nets have 23 regular-season games left and will not want to jeopardise their post-season by bringing him back too quickly.

Simmons’ initial timetable of hoping to be ready to play against the 76ers on 10 March doesn’t seem too wide of the mark though. However, the decision could be made to spare him from the inevitable hostile Philly environment and wait until the Nets’ game against the Knicks on 13 March to give him his debut.

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