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.

Former Virginia forward and Memphis star Austin Nichols is declaring for the NBA Draft and will sign with an agent, he told Scout on Tuesday. “First of all I just want to thank the University of Virginia and everything they’ve done for me,” Nichols said. “I left on sort of a bad note, but I learned a lot and I grew a lot at Virginia. I have decided to declare for the NBA Draft and I’m going to be signing with Aaron Turner.”

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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March 24, 2018 | 10:04 pm EDT Update
Ben Simmons showed his support for the March for our Lives rallies going on in Washington, D.C. and across the country (including Philadelphia) on Saturday by wearing a T-shirt before the Sixers took on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The shirt can be seen in a tweet posted by Simmons’ sister, Olivia.