A couple of agents I spoke to at NBA Summer League last week said they would not encourage their clients to sign two-way contracts this coming summer. Their pleas, in some cases, will fall on deaf ears, while other agents don’t have the same negative feelings about it. Still, even some team employees will admit that the contracts may not be as player-friendly as they seem.
“If I were an agent, I’d be trying to convince players not to sign those,” one Western Conference team executive told me. Of course, that didn’t stop his team from already signing one player to such a deal.
However, agent Happy Walters said the Mavericks have yet to come up with a realistic contract offer. “We’re very disappointed with where things stand,” Walters said. “Nerlens loves Dallas and spent June there working out, but we’re still waiting on a serious offer.”
Harrison Gaines, a 28-year-old Thomas Jefferson law grad, was handpicked by the Ball family to serve as the Ball siblings’ agent. Prior to signing Lonzo, Gaines was not commonly known within the NBA community. But Gaines explained that he has been around the NBA block for some time, and claimed he’s ready for this extraordinary opportunity. Here is an ESPN Q&A introduction to Gaines. Chris Haynes: LaVar is boisterous, and is routinely in the headlines. You’re the exact opposite. It seems like you’re always quietly busy behind the scenes. Is that a fair summation? Harrison Gaines: “My specific role is handling all NBA representation with the Ball family and I stay in my lane as far as that nature. But I think for me, how I view athlete representation, it’s about the player, it’s about the client. And for me, it starts with basketball, everything starts with the game. If you don’t handle your business on the court, then when it comes time to negotiate contracts and everything that’s afforded off of it, that doesn’t apply.
Why do you think LaVar hand-picked you to represent his sons? Harrison Gaines: “Really, I was just myself. It was a genuine relationship. When I met them, I was still in law school. There were no expectations. I enjoyed watching the boys play. I built a great relationship with LaVar and Tina and it just grew from there. They understood the grind that I was putting in and they were putting in the same type of grind on their side and it just all converged at the right time. It was just a blessing. I couldn’t have predicted it to come out like this, but when genuine relationships blossom and everybody is working hard in their respective fields, sometimes there’s synergy and it works out.”