Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons got a fresh start with an NBA team last year. Now, he’s getting a fresh start with his representation.
The former All-Star and his agents at Klutch Sports Group have mutually decided to part ways, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. The two sides reportedly reached the decision after a conversation earlier this week.
Klutch has counted Simmons as a client since he entered the NBA Draft in 2016 and was chosen first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers after an All-America season at LSU. The agency helped negotiate the five-year, $177 million contract extension Simmons signed in 2019.
That partnership also saw Simmons land endorsement deals with Nike, Beats by Dre, Foot Locker, Upper Deck and more.
Where does Ben Simmons go from here?
Simmons’ career has taken a turn since that 2019 payday. Klutch represented him during his ugly divorce from the Sixers, as he sat out the season after demanding a trade and eventually landed with the Nets. Those off-court woes then gave way to on-court ones, as Simmons has looked like a different player with the Nets — and not in a good way.
The 26-year-old is currently averaging 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists in 26.3 minutes per game, all career lows. Even when adjusting for time or number of possessions, he’s scoring at the lowest rate of his career.
He also hasn’t played since Feb. 15, sitting out the past month with what the Nets have been calling left knee soreness.
The Nets, in the midst of a rebuild after trading Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, have Simmons under contract for two more seasons at a salary of $37.9 million in 2023-24 and $40.3 million in 2024-25.
Even with all that money tying Simmons to the Nets, the future of his career is as hazy as it has ever been. At his best, Simmons was a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and capable distributor for the Sixers, but he hasn’t been that kind of player in a Brooklyn uniform. Even taking the line of a mutual parting of ways as fact, it’s easy to see why Klutch consented to let him go.
The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski reported Simmons is expected to sign with veteran agent Bernie Lee, who represents a number of NBA veterans. If that’s the case, Lee could be helping to navigate any number of outcomes once Simmons’ contract plays out.