HoopsHype Mitchell Butler rumors
Mitchell Butler, an NBA agent who most recently worked for Lagardère Unlimited, has joined Rival Sports Group as president of basketball. Butler has brought several basketball players to Rival and signed draft prospects including Clemson forward K.J. McDaniels. Butler quietly joined Rival late last year and has been working out of its Beverly Hills, Calif., headquarters. He reports to Rival Sports Group founder Richard Gebbia. Additionally, NBA agents Dean Walle and Toby Bailey also both have joined Rival as vice presidents of basketball and report to Butler. Walle and Bailey started their own small basketball player representation firm, Sky Sports Management, two years ago, but left that firm after being hired by Rival. Butler represents Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley and Chicago Bulls guard/forward Tony Snell, as well as about a dozen basketball players playing on professional teams in Europe and two players in the NBA-owned D-League. All of those players move to Rival. Additionally, Sky Sports Management represented a few European players, including former UCLA guard Lazeric Jones, and those players have joined Rival Sports Group. Sports Business Daily
NBA player agents David Bauman and Mitchell Butler have left Lagardère Unlimited, sources said, meaning the agency does not have a basketball player representation practice. It is unclear if the two agents were going to start their own firms or join existing agencies. Bauman and Butler did not respond to requests for comment. A Lagardère official declined comment. ph.sports.yahoo.com
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