Amidst all the drama that former Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons has gone through in his first season with the Brooklyn Nets, Simmons has made a big decision for his career going forward – changing agencies.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Simmons and Klutch Sports agency would be parting ways.
“Brooklyn Nets forward Ben Simmons and Klutch Sports have mutually decided to part ways, sources told ESPN. Simmons had been represented by Klutch since he came into the NBA as the No. 1 pick in 2016. The agency negotiated his five-year $177 million extension in 2019,” Shelburne tweeted.
Shelburne added that the reason why Simmons needed a fresh start was that “he just needed a fresh start,” Shelburne tweeted out.
Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported that Simmons was expected to be represented by Bernie Lee going forward. Lee is the agent of multiple former Sixers, including Simmons’ former teammate Jimmy Butler.
“Ben Simmons is expected to hire veteran agent Bernie Lee, who has a long history of guiding clients through difficult spots, sources said. Lee also reps Jimmy Butler, Justin Holiday, and Kris Dunn, among other players,” Krawczynski tweeted.
Simmons has not produced at the same level with the Nets as he did when he played for the Sixers. Hiring Lee could be a step in the right direction, but that’s far from guaranteed.
There’s Still No Timetable For Ben Simmons’ Return
Simmons has not stepped foot on an NBA court since February 15, when the Nets faced off against the Miami Heat. Since then, Simmons has been recovering with no timetable in sight for his return.
On March 13, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn remained non-committal on Simmons’ potential return but gave an update on what exactly he is rehabbing from.
“Yeah, I think, first of all, I’ll just be pretty simple. He’s still managing his back and knee soreness,” Vaughn said, per Brian Lewis of New York Post. “He’s back home in Brooklyn. We’ll get a chance to kind of see where he’s at when we get back home after this trip.”
Following the expected hire of Lee, there may come more updates on Simmons’ recovery and what his future is with the Nets.
This season Simmons is averaging 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists while shooting 56.6% from the field in 42 games. Simmons will make $35.4 million this season and will be gradually paid more over the next two seasons on top of that. That will be a gross overpay if he fails to get back to the player he once was with the Sixers.
James Harden Sounds Off on Passing NBA Legends
After his performance against the Charlotte Hornets on March 19, James Harden surpassed Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy on the NBA’s all-time assist leaders, as he is now ranked no. 20 with 6,960 career assists before the Sixers took on the Indiana Pacers.
After the game, Harden told reporters what it’s like for him to achieve as much as he has to pass some of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA.
“It’s going to be something to where you got some of the greatest basketball players whether it’s assists or scoring to ever touch a basketball,” Harden told reporters, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “So it’s a blessing and an honor to be in those conversations and continue to climb up those ladders.”
While Simmons and the Nets deal with all of this uncertainty, the Sixers have reaped the rewards from acquiring Harden from pretty much the very get-go.