Storyline: Draft Agents

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Lonzo Ball, UCLA: Any agent he hires is going to have to navigate the tight waters between NBA teams and his outspoken dad, LaVar Ball. The consensus among agents, and pretty much as expressed by LaVar Ball, is that Ball will hire an attorney — a source said that would be Harrison Gaines of SLASH Sports — strictly for contracts and let his father do the negotiating otherwise. There’s some risk to that, and Ball would be wise to ensure he has an NBA-level pre-draft program in place.

A year after having two first-round picks in the NBA Draft, Excel Sports Management made a significant jump in ’16, as they led all agencies by representing six first-round picks. Their total was helped by the fact that Excel has a partnership with Belgrade-based BeoBasket in which they represent their players in the U.S. Meanwhile, a year after leading the draft in representation, CAA Sports represented four players in the first round, followed by ASM Sports with three. Klutch Sports Management represented two first-round players, including No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons. Landmark Sports, Wasserman, Independent Sports & Entertainment and Roc Nation Sports also represented two players apiece. Cal F Jaylen Brown decided to enter the draft without representation. The following lists the full first round.

Brown, a one-and-done wing who played at California, has made the rare move to enter the NBA draft without hiring a primary agent to handle his team negotiations. He is leaning on the National Basketball Players Association for advice and assistance during his predraft preparations. He did, however, look to agent Aaron Goodwin to negotiate his shoe deal. Goodwin has long been viewed as a marquee agent for shoe deals, having negotiated some of the most lucrative endorsement contracts in the industry, including LeBron James’ and Kevin Durant’s rookie shoe deals with Nike, and Dwight Howard and Damian Lillard’s signature shoe deals with adidas.
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December 17, 2017 | 8:09 pm EST Update
If the opportunity presented itself, Donovan Mitchell is open to the idea of possibly competing in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest. It’s certainly not on his mind every day, as the Jazz are in the midst of a brutal road stretch, but All-Star Weekend is set for Feb. 16-18 in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. That’ll be here in no time. “It would be great, but I haven’t paid any attention to that whatsoever,” Mitchell said. “Not even the whole weekend. That’s not even been on my head at all.”
Storyline: All-Star Contests
December 17, 2017 | 6:22 pm EST Update
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler’s sore back kept him out of most of practice Sunday and could keep him out of Monday’s game against Portland at Target Center. “He didn’t do much today,’’ Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said after Sunday’s short practice. “Just getting treatment. We’ll see how he is [Monday].” The Timberwolves officially listed Butler as questionable with back spasms.
Storyline: Jimmy Butler Injury