Storyline: Agent Changes

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George Hill, having just completed the final year of a five-year, $40 million deal that he originally signed with the Pacers in 2012, has changed agents prior to becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Hill has hired Matthew Ward, Ward confirmed to VigilantSports.com. This isn’t a new relationship between the two; Ward has served as Hill’s financial advisor for nearly a decade.

One of the sports industry’s most respected basketball agents has been fired for cause by his most recent employer and named as a defendant in a lawsuit seeking to enforce a non-compete agreement. Independent Sports & Entertainment (ISE) has filed suit against basketball agent Dan Fegan to prevent him from trying to poach ISE clients, agents and employees now that he is no longer with the company. The Complaint for Injunctive Relief paints a picture of extreme disloyal and unethical actions by Fegan, which ISE claims to have caused immense harm and damage to its operations.

It also alleges that Fegan devised a plot to make it possible for Fegan to take back the business he sold to ISE in 2013 when his employment agreement with ISE was set to expire. “As part of his plan, Fegan set the stage for a potential mass exodus from ISE Basketball: he manipulated the company’s employees and agents to give their personal loyalty to him and interfered with their ability to sign new long-term employment agreements with ISE Basketball so that he could deliver on the threat of a mass exodus,” per the Complaint. In July 2015, Fegan wrote an email to agents and employees of ISE Basketball notifying them that he would leave ISE when his employment term expired in December 2017.

As news broke that the Los Angeles Lakers had not only fired longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak, but also lured power agent Rob Pelinka as his replacement, the ears of player representatives across the country perked up. Pelinka boasts an impressive list of clients—ranging from James Harden to Buddy Hield—and will have to divest his ownership stake in his agency, Landmark Sports, which has sparked a vast number of phone calls from rival agents. “It will be like the wild, wild west,” one rival agent told The Crossover. “It’s like a real life Jerry Maguire,” said another.

A league source also said Pelinka will still collect his allotted fees for the remainder of each player contract he has negotiated. For all player contracts above the minimum salary, agents who negotiate deals are due 4% of the player’s annual salary. For example, through James Harden’s $118 million extension with the Houston Rockets alone, Pelinka will earn $4.72 million through 2020, while also commanding an assured multi-million dollar annual salary from Los Angeles. DraftExpress lists the current and future known guaranteed salary for Pelinka’s primary clients at a staggering $363,740,424, equating to over $14.5 million for his services.

Josh Ketroser, agent to Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, has left Wasserman. Ketroser confirmed he had left the agency but did not have any other comment. Ketroser is the latest agent to leave the basketball practice since Arn Tellem left in June 2015 to become vice chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Detroit Pistons. The others include Tellem’s son, Michael Tellem, who now works at CAA Sports; James Dunleavy, who now works at Independent Sports & Entertainment; and Jason Glushon, who formed his own agency.

Kwame Brown trying to return to the NBA

Interperformances is proud to announce that the NBA star Kwame Brown decided to sign with our agency. The #1 overall pick of the 2001 draft is ready for a new life. His comeback can be the road to glory for a team that believes in him. Kwame is back, physically healthy and ready to be the outstanding player he was on several NBA teams. A great intimidator that can block shots , rebound consistently and explode in devastating dunks. No longer the young man that entered the NBA, Kwame is now an experienced and mature player and man. And he’s back, for the love of the game.

Billionaire Ron Burkle is starting an athlete management and sports-related investment company that’ll be led by former Madison Square Garden Co. Chief Executive Officer Hank Ratner. The company, Independent Sports and Entertainment, essentially replaces Relativity Sports, in which Burkle was an investor. The new firm has retained several top agents and their clients from the L.A.-based sports agency, which is closing. ISE begins with more than 300 Major League Baseball, National Football League and National Basketball Association players under management, including baseball’s two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera, basketball’s DeMarcus Cousins and football’s Larry Fitzgerald.
More HoopsHype Rumors
July 21, 2017 | 4:54 am EDT Update
JJ Redick: “I really care about my family. I really care about my kids. I really care about my wife. And I really care about their happiness. It’s a part of the decision. If I’m being completely honest, it’s 30 percent winning, it’s 30 percent salary, it’s 30 percent fit or enjoyment of playing/how I think I’ll like playing there. And the other 10 percent is how do I look out for my family and their lifestyle? And my wife wants me to be happy. I think that’s the main thing. She knows how much I put into this, and so she wants me to enjoy playing.”
Henare was hopeful the Rotorua native would be available for New Zealand at next month’s Asia Cup in Lebanon where the Tall Blacks will make their debut in the new look FIBA Asia zone. However, Henare opted to go with youth for the tournament, deciding not to select any American based player for the tournament and go with young talent playing in New Zealand. As Adams was not selected, the seven-footer’s next chance to don the black singlet for the first time will have to wait until next year’s June-July international window. “I sat down with him (Steven) a few weeks back and he had a look at the program over the next few years,” Henare told Newshub.
Meanwhile, Adams is currently in the Philippines to help promote the NBA 3v3 tournament this weekend and told Philippines website the Rappler that the time has to be right to represent his country. “Yeah, definitely. When the time is right, I may be suiting up,” he told reporters in Manila on Tuesday “We’re just talking about when’s a good time because they understand my commitments with the NBA. Obviously, that comes first.”