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Brooklyn Nets reportedly contemplating a lineup with Ben Simmons at center next season

Jason Burgos

In a pursuit to bring an NBA championship to New York next season, the Brooklyn Nets are pondering a very out-of-the-box idea that could see Ben Simmons manning the center position in 2022-2023.

Nets nation received a round of fantastic news this week. Not only did the organization tell interested teams that mercurial star Kyrie Irving was no longer on the trade market, but superstar Kevin Durant and team brass talked out all of their issues and their “partnership” will continue next season. So after a tumultuous month for the organization, they will have both their best players back and will once again be a top contender to win an NBA title.

Related: NBA Power Rankings: Kevin Durant’s return to the Nets changes dynamics

Now, with the Durant and Irving situation resolved, general manager Sean Marks must fill out the roster and put together an ensemble that can at least get to the finals in 2022-2023. One spot on the depth chart that isn’t overflowing with talent is the five position. Gone are rock-solid veterans like LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin. What is left are rotation players Nic Claxton and Day’Ron Sharpe.

Brooklyn Nets have just two centers on their current roster

brooklyn nets, ben simmons
Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Neither man has the proven track record of Griffin and Aldridge in big games and will be expected to perform in increased roles next season. The Athletic’s Alex Schiffer reported on Wednesday that the Brooklyn Nets may seek out big man additions in the next few weeks, but they may also go in an unexpected direction to add depth to the position.

  • Ben Simmon stats (2020-2021): 14.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 6.9 APG, .557 FG%

“Nic Claxton and Day‚ÄôRon Sharpe remain the only two centers on the roster. There have been rumblings of [Ben] Simmons playing center this season and Durant has done so before in small-ball lineups. Do the Nets add another big man or role with the traditional and modern options they have? Is there a surprise trade of sorts? How Marks uses the momentum and roster flexibility will be worth watching in the coming weeks.”

The idea of a guard playing center seems outrageous, but then again, Simmons is no normal guard. The Australian is 6-foot-11 and 240-pounds. Not your typical center but also not far off from the types of players many NBA teams use in the front court currently. Playing Simmons at the center would set up some very difficult matchups for opposing teams as he could be used in all sorts of sets on the court.