Aside from Cousins and DeAndre Jordan, two established All-Stars, Nurkić projected as one of 2018’s top free-agent centers. However, if his production or impact waned there were plenty of cheaper comparison points: Plumlee re-signed with Denver for $41 million over three years, Kelly Olynyk inked a four-year, $50 million deal with Miami, and Cody Zeller signed a 4-year, $56 million early extension in Charlotte. “I feel like the Blazers are very happy with Jusuf and Jusuf is very happy there,” Tesch, the agent, told The Crossover by telephone this week. “We had some [extension] talks but we decided to play it out this year and engage in talks again in July. He has already proven that he can help the team. There is a fit for Jusuf in Portland and he’s looking to stay there long-term.”
Knicks management is making a huge effort to get on the good side of Janis Porzingis, the agent/brother of Kristaps. Before the Knicks’ 106-101 victory over the Jazz Wednesday night, team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry spoke amiably with Janis on the sidelines for nearly 30 minutes during warm-ups.
Janis was quoted two weeks ago in a Latvian magazine, making a threatening remark about his brother’s long-term future as a Knick and creating a furor. According to a source, Janis felt badly about the way the quotes were portrayed.
Jim Tanner (NBA agent): When I first started doing this, I saw a wave of consolidations so smaller agencies joined into bigger agencies. Then, you saw it go back the other way where it was more about the boutique agencies. That’s been a bit of a pendulum. But what I’ve seen the most, as highlighted by what was happening with the FBI recently, is more stories about decisions based on illegal practices that include illegal payments to players or family members or AAU coaches. That has dominated a lot of the most recent agency selections. But that’s not a victimless crime. The players sometimes have no idea that money is exchanging hands and that player can never be certain of the motives of an agent or how hard that agent is going to fight for them or how loyal that agent is going to be to them.