Agents Rumors

Brandon Bass open to Boston return

Celtics forward Brandon Bass’s agent, Tony Dutt, said there have been indications that numerous teams will have interest in the 10-year veteran when free agency begins after midnight Wednesday. Dutt added that Bass would be open to a return to the Celtics. “I think Brad [Stevens] and Danny [Ainge] understand the value of what Brandon brings,” Dutt told the Globe on Tuesday afternoon. “He loves Boston, and if it works out for him to stay there, we’d be more than happy.”
“We have every reason to believe in management and Joe (Lacob) and his leadership and Bob Myers and all the people there that things will get worked out,” agent B.J. Armstrong said Monday. “And we will continue to go through the process. This is an incredible opportunity for everyone because this is a young team. They have a great nucleus, a great coaching staff. This is an enormous opportunity for everyone involved, OK? Draymond is so thankful to be part of the Warriors organization. We understand that. He understands that. The Warriors organization understands that. Let’s focus on the ‘we’ of the situation. They have a great team, and sometimes in life things come together.”
Madison Square Garden has hired Hollywood agent David “Doc” O’Connor — a partner with CAA — as its CEO, The Post has learned. A former film agent, O’Connor was instrumental in launching CAA Sports — a major growth vehicle for the talent agency since its formation in 2006. In a matter of months, USA Today reported in 2007, CAA took the sports division “from concept to colossus.” CAA Sports has been so successful at representing players on the MSG-owned New York Knicks that the NBA team has at times been dubbed “the New York Knicks Brought to You by CAA.”
Pacers point guard Donald Sloan has spent the offseason in his hometown Dallas, reshaping his career in more ways than one. As Sloan prepares for his summer of free agency – grinding through two-a-day workouts and day long pick-up games – he has switched representation. Sloan, who approaches his fifth NBA season, will now be represented by sports agents Byron Irvin and Dan Fegan of Relativity Sports. The deal was finalized on Friday night. “Some things weren’t happening the way they should have with who I was represented by the last few years,” Sloan told The Star, “so I just figured now’s a good time as any to make the switch.”

David Lee on the move?

Sources said the Warriors have privately acknowledged to Lee and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, that it would be unfair to the former All-Star to ask him to continue to serve in a limited role next season after Lee accepted his diminished minutes without complaint all season. Although discussions on this topic were essentially tabled by both sides until after the playoffs, sources said Wednesday that the Warriors and Bartelstein have resolved to work together to “come up with a good solution” to find a new home for Lee this offseason.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 4 more rumors
Myers anticipates no problems as a result of powerhouse agent Arn Tellem this month leaving the Wasserman Media Group that represents Green to become a high-ranking executive with the Detroit Pistons. Myers worked for WMG before coming to the Warriors four years ago. “No, B.J. Armstrong is going to be the point guy. We have a great rapport — I used to work with him,” Myers said. “So I don’t envision any issues there.”
Seven years after leaving the agent business, Jason Levien, now owner and managing partner of D.C. United, has hired a young agent to help him negotiate deals involving the MLS team. Sam Porter, formerly an NBA agent and director of basketball at Exclusive Sports Group, has taken the newly created position of director of business and legal affairs. He will report to Tom Hunt, D.C. United chief operating officer.
“A player has few opportunities to hit the free-agent market and get a contract to take care of his family,” said Mark Bartelstein, Carroll’s agent. “However, there are a lot of elements to consider other than pure economics. The Hawks have been sensational with DeMarre’s development in so many ways. They deserve a lot of credit. At the same time, DeMarre’s work ethic and his relentless pursuit of greatness is why he continues to get better every single year, and I know it will just continue. We will weigh everything in making a great decision for DeMarre.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 9 more rumors
Tellem will not be directly involved with the Pistons’ basketball side — coach Stan Van Gundy will still have final say over personnel. He will be one of three people who report directly to Gores, along with Van Gundy and CEO Dennis Mannion. And his duties will run the gamut from looking at improvements to the Palace, to improving the team’s footprint in Detroit, to potentially working on the creation of a regional sports network. In switching careers, Tellem is leaving his position at Wasserman Media Group, where he headed the agency’s basketball division, and was considered the most powerful agent in basketball. He represented 42 NBA players — almost 10 percent of all the players in the league, who made more than $324 million this season in salary — and 12 All-Stars.
Nobody, however, will replace Tellem, per se. “I don’t know that you can fill his shoes,” Myers said. “I know Casey’s a great leader and they’ve got a great company over there. I don’t know exactly what their strategy is, but I’m sure they’ll be fine. He’s unique, so I don’t know anybody who replaces him in that capacity, but they’ve got a good infrastructure and they’ll figure it out. They were fine without me.”
Arn Tellem: When owner Tom Gores offered me the job, I was at first stunned, and then flattered. Part of me thought, I can’t possibly accept. I’m responsible for helping to guide the careers of scores of pro baseball and basketball players. But I grew pensive when I remembered something a friend once told me: That making a difference in a community gives you a deeper sense of purpose. Tom was offering me a chance to join him in making a difference in Detroit and its surrounding neighborhoods. I thought, ‘I’m 61. If not now, when?’
Arn Tellem: Ten years ago Steve Jobs gave a commencement address in which he advised young graduates to continually ask themselves: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” Whenever the answer is “no” for too many days in a row, he counseled them to summon the courage to follow their hearts and intuition. Those thoughts have stuck with me ever since. This week, after 34 years as a player agent, I tendered my resignation to the Wasserman Management Group in Los Angeles and accepted an offer to, later this summer, become vice chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Detroit Pistons. This decision to change careers has been the most difficult of my professional life.
For the time being, all of Upshaw’s individual workouts with teams have been postponed, and his individual training has been put on pause. Further blood testing has been requested by NBA doctors to determine the full extent of his medical condition, but Upshaw’s agent, Bill Duffy, doesn’t sound all that concerned. “Robert and his family have been fully aware of his medical history,” Duffy said in a statement. “Twice previously this was addressed by highly respected University cardiologists and Robert was subsequently cleared for all basketball activities.”
“The decision to change careers was in one sense a difficult one, because I am leaving a terrific job with great clients and an outstanding leader in Casey Wasserman, who I believe runs the finest sports marketing and talent company in the business,” Tellem said. “But in another sense it was an easy decision, because I am joining another great organization with an outstanding leader in Tom Gores, who is committed to ensuring Palace Sports & Entertainment is a championship organization both on the court and in the community.”
Meanwhile, Henry Thomas continues to talk to the Heat about Wade’s contract. Wade prefers to opt out a contract that would pay him $16.1 million next season and instead sign a new three-year deal, preferably with the Heat. The Heat prefers he opt into the contract. Wade must inform the Heat of his opt-out decision by June 29. So the Heat can keep working to try to convince Wade to opt in, but his preference to opt out has been pretty strong to this point.
The Cavaliers coaches, front office and players love Tristan Thompson because he’s one of those guys who’s energetic, hustles, rebounds, plays defense and doesn’t need plays called for him. Those guys are valuable. How valuable? Thompson turned down an extension just before this season began. Don’t forget, Thompson’s agent, Rich Paul, is also LeBron James’ agent, and if James wants Thompson on the team, the Cavs will cough up the necessary dollars.
The realistic high-end target is Greg Monroe of the Pistons, who waited out his qualifying offer to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but figures to attract ample attention and will be seeking a max deal. Monroe, too, might be out of the Celtics’ reach. (Another factor: Monroe is represented by David Falk, who also has Jared Sullinger. Think he wants to put them both on the same roster?)
Deandre Jordan makes sense here on a lot of levels. He’s a younger, more explosive version of Chandler who should continue to smooth the edges of his defense. Jordan’s agent, Dan Fegan, is close with Mark Cuban. And Jordan is exactly the sort of player who might gamble on a short-term deal to reenter free agency again when the cap leaps. He’ll only turn 27 this summer, he never gets hurt, and he’s already banked more than $40 million from the Clippers. Changing teams on a short-term deal would still cost him some money, but if he times things right, he could reduce the shortfall to the point that it wouldn’t hurt — especially given the tax advantages Texas has over California. It gets trickier for any player who changes teams via a one-year deal, since they forfeit their own Bird rights — limiting the raises their incumbent team could offer. Signing a two- or three-year deal makes it easier.
Behind the duo of Porzingis and Hezonja, Aleksander Vezenkov is the only other European player who seems to have real hopes to be selected in the first round of the upcoming draft. However, the 19 years old player is expected to withdraw his name and stay in Europe. At this point Vezenkov is not officially represented by any agent, as he left Nick Lotsos and despite talks with Arn Tellem, there’s no deal with his company, the Wasserman Media Group. His father Sasho Vezenkov, who is also the sports director of the Bulgarian club Lukoil, is acting as his representative.