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Will Nets’ Ben Simmons ever make an NBA All-Star team again?

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Ben Simmons burst onto the scene in 2017-18, winning Rookie of the Year and going on to earn his first All-Star selection the following season.

With the 76ers a mainstay in the playoffs during his tenure, the Aussie went on to make three consecutive All-Star Games. But after his messy exit from Philly and his struggles with injuries, he has not yet rediscovered the form that made him one of the most exciting young players in the league.

Now, as he adapts to a new role playing alongside Kyrie Irving (for the time being) and Kevin Durant with the Nets, his chances of returning to All-Star status with this group are tough. With a new crop of Eastern Conference guards only improving each season, the competition for All-Star spots has never been tougher.

MORE: Why did Kyrie Irving request a trade with the Nets?

Once an All-Star lock, Simmons’ recent struggles make it hard to imagine him returning to that stage, but a lot can change. Just ask Jrue Holiday, who waited nearly a decade between All-Star selections.

TSN’s Kyle Irving, Jordan Greer and Benyam Kidane offered their takes on Simmons’ potential to make it back to the All-Star Game.

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Will Ben Simmons make it to the All-Star Game again?

Benyam Kidane (@BenyamKidane)I’m going with yes, but not while he’s on the Nets.

Simmons thrived in Philadelphia as the team’s primary ball handler and playmaker, developing into a monster in transition while emerging as an annual Defensive Player of the Year candidate. That just hasn’t been the case in Brooklyn. Even if Simmons bounces back to his best with the Nets, Irving and Durant will remain as mainstays on the All-Star rosters, making it nearly impossible for him to be selected.

However, a lot can change in the NBA — and quickly. Simmons’ best path to returning to All-Star status is if he eventually finds himself on a new team with an increased role. On the Nets, he is just a part of the rotation.

At 26 years old, the Aussie hasn’t entered his prototypical “prime” years, but with the modern NBA game continuing to evolve further away from his skillset, it makes things all the more difficult.

Having said that, the talent is undeniable. You don’t make three All-Star Games by accident.

MORE: Which players became first-time All-Stars this season?

Jordan Greer (@jordangreer42): It sounds crazy to give up on a 26-year-old with a terrific combination of size, skill and athleticism, but I’m leaning toward no.

Simmons comes with rough limitations in this era of the NBA because he can’t make — and is unwilling to even take — outside shots. He also isn’t a dominant force in the paint because he fears the free throw line.

There are injury concerns, too. Simmons dealt with a serious back issue in 2021-22, and he has already missed 14 games this season. If his body breaks down, it’s unclear how he could be an effective player.

And on top of everything else, the NBA is brimming with young talent. Devin Booker, Jalen Brunson, Anthony Edwards, De’Aaron Fox and Trae Young were among the players who didn’t earn an All-Star selection this season. Even if Simmons switches from East to West at some point in his career, achieving All-Star status will always be an incredible challenge.

There are just so many questions about Simmons’ future, but here is the main one to consider for this exercise: What has Simmons done to give us any confidence that he will be an All-Star again?

Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): As much as I find myself pulling for Simmons these days after all the scrutiny he has received, I’m going to say no.

I still believe Simmons can be a key contributor to a successful team with playoff aspirations — as we were seeing with the Nets this season — but I don’t think he’ll ever get back to the point where he is recognized as one of the 24 best players in the NBA.

Could he get back to receiving yearly All-Defensive Team consideration? Absolutely. But as Jordan pointed out above, there were almost enough noteworthy snubs to make a third All-Star team this season. There are also plenty of players younger than Simmons who have yet to even hit that leap to All-Stardom.

Even if Simmons gets back to the player he was from 2018 to 2021, I don’t think it will be enough to crack another All-Star team.

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