March 17, 2023
Another notch in the never-ending Ben Simmons saga, the former Sixer and his agency Klutch Sports have "mutually decided" to part ways, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported Friday.
Led by agent Rich Paul, Klutch had represented Simmons ever since he became the top prospect heading into the 2016 NBA Draft, where the Sixers eventually selected him first overall as their star of the future.
Klutch also negotiated his max contract in 2019, which went on to age poorly as the relationship between Simmons and the Sixers crumbled, along with the trajectory of his career.
Simmons and Klutch decided to part ways in a conversation this week. “He just needed a fresh start,” according to a source.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) March 17, 2023
After a holdout and trade to Brooklyn for James Harden last season, Simmons never suited up for the Nets during the remainder of it because of back issues. This season, he's played sparingly and not since before the All-Star break back in the middle of February. Even when he has been on the floor, he's been a shell of what he was, averaging just 6.9 points, 6.1 assists, and 6.3 rebounds across 42 games.
The 26-year old guard, once expected to join the NBA's elite and be a pillar of Philadelphia sports over the next decade, instead fell off a cliff. And maybe in a last-ditch effort to turn things around, he'll be turning to veteran agent Bernie Lee, per The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski.
Lee, after all, does have a history of navigating players through critical points in their careers – Jimmy Butler and, briefly, Joel Embiid being two of them.
Not only does Bernie Lee work as Jimmy Butler's agent, he advised the agent-less Joel Embiid during his supermax negotiations in the summer of 2021. https://t.co/y0kN2VKgN0— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) March 17, 2023
That said, Simmons is a very unique case, unlike anything the NBA's ever really seen.
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