December 1, 2023

This was supposed to be a bounce-back season for Ben Simmons. After missing the entire 2021-22 campaign following a trade request, mental health problems and a back injury, there was optimism coming into the year that he could give a Brooklyn Nets team featuring Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving the defense and playmaking that it needed. But with Durant and Irving now gone, Simmons is making a move of his own.

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Simmons will part ways with Klutch Sports. Rich Paul has been his agent since he arrived in the NBA in 2016, but as one source told Shelburne, Simmons “just needed a fresh start.” He is expected to hire Bernie Lee as his new agent, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawcynzski. Lee notably represents Jimmy Butler, a former teammate of Simmons.

Klutch represented Simmons through last season’s trade request and all of its fallout, including a settlement over the salary that the team withheld while he sat out. In the end, Simmons did get his wish. He was dealt by the Philadelphia 76ers to the Nets and given the fresh start he was seemingly seeking on the court.

But little has gone right for him since then. He didn’t play at all last season, and has appeared in just 42 games this season. He hasn’t played since Feb. 15 due to an apparent knee injury, but his minutes were dwindling even before then. At only 26.3 minutes per game, he was playing less on a per-night basis than he had in any other season.

Now the Nets have completely remade themselves after deadline deals sent Irving and Durant to Western Conference teams. On a roster loaded with wings and defense, there might not be a place for Simmons moving forward. However, with two years and $78 million remaining on his contract, the Nets aren’t going to have an easy time finding him a new home, either.

For now, the two sides appear to be stuck with one another. In the past year or so, Simmons has changed teams, has changed teammates within that team, and now, has changed representation as well. Thus far, nothing has worked to help spark a career renaissance. Let’s hope something sticks soon, because if it doesn’t, Simmons might not have many suitors when his current contract expires.

Source link