Brooklyn Nets star forward Ben Simmons has been represented by superstar agent and Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul since he entered the league in 2016. But after seven years together, Simmons and the star-studded agency have “mutually decided to part ways,” according to ESPN NBA insider Ramona Shelburne.
“Brooklyn Nets forward Ben Simmons and Klutch Sports have mutually decided to part ways, sources told ESPN,” Shelburne tweeted on March 17.
“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. Simmons and Klutch decided to part ways in a conversation this week. ‘He just needed a fresh start,’ according to a source,” Shelburne added.
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Ben Simmons Nets Debut Season Has Been Disappointing
It’s not hard to see why the connection was made between Simmons and Klutch. Klutch is viewed as the premier sports agency, and as the number one pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons was viewed as a premiere athlete. But that was when the Nets forward still had an upside and was drawing comparisons to future Hall of Famer LeBron James.
This season has been a major disappointment for the former number-one overall pick. Simmons has never been a volume scorer, as his career average of 14.7 points per game will show, but this season he is scoring less than half of that. Simmons is averaging just 6.9 points and more than two turnovers per game.
He has also been out for a large part of the season due to injuries. Simmons’ most recent injuries to his knee and back have held him out more than a month as he has not been active since the team returned from the All-Star break. With his build-up of injury problems, coupled with his dwindling play, it is hard to imagine Simmons getting a max contract in the near future, which could have contributed to the split.
Klutch Helped Ben Simmons Recoup Lost Assets
The Simmons, Klutch partnership may be coming to a close, but they did give the Nets star a sweet parting gift on his way out. If you don’t recall, Simmons elected to sit out the first half of last season after requesting a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers. As a result, the Sixers did not pay him for the time he was gone, causing him to lose nearly $20 million of his 2021-22 salary, which Simmons filed a grievance against in April 2022.
With the assistance of Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, Simmons and the Sixers, agreed on a settlement for an undisclosed amount on August 15, per ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Brooklyn Nets All-Star guard Ben Simmons and his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, reached a settlement agreement on the grievance Simmons filed to recoup a portion of the nearly $20 million withheld from him as a result of his failure to play games in the 2021-22 season. Wojnarowski tweeted in August 2022.
“Both sides agreed to confidentiality on the exact financial settlement reached, sources said.”
Now that Simmons is officially without an agent, It will be interesting to see what this move means for Simmons’ NBA future.