Barnes is right to bet on someone offering him a max deal — averaging as much as $23 million per season — if he gets to free agency. There is too much cap money for a blah free-agent class. That exploding money factored into Barnes’s decision to fire his old agent, Jeff Wechsler, and hire the powerhouse Jeff Schwartz. Barnes is pushing back against the standard 4 percent agent commission, league sources told Grantland last week, arguing that those old rules shouldn’t apply to new money.1
Ric Bucher: If [Jeff] Weschler, as sources indicate, does takes [Harrison] Barnes to court, then the Players Union and its new head, Michele Roberts, is going to have to weigh in and basically pick a side between Barnes and Weschler. Why is that a problem? Well, in the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations it’s going to be vital for the players, not for them just to be connected, but to have their agents on board on what are they doing as well.
Wasserman Media Group has rehired Thunder Dir of Strategic Planning Jason Ranne as its new COO & Exec VP/Team Sports. Ranne, who began his career at the L.A.-based agency, will oversee the overall strategic growth and direction of the basketball, baseball, football and broadcasting/coaching management practices at WMG. Ranne will report to WMG President Mike Watts and will work out of WMG’s L.A. HQ. He started today. WMG President & CEO Casey Wasserman in a statement said, “Jason will be a strong complement to our existing team of agents. … He also brings proven principles in closing deals and a standard of practice and approach to this organization that will only advance our leadership position.” Ranne in a statement said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin Wasserman. … I have been very fortunate to work with some of the industry’s leading agents, executives and innovators and will continue Wasserman’s diligent, inventive and aggressive approach to representing the world’s best athletes.”
Zach Lowe: Interesting twist in Harrison Barnes switching agents: sources say he pushed back on standard 4% commission agents get on new contracts.
Now, after five years of operating as Lagardere Unlimited, it is going through a re-branding process. The division is going to be renamed Lagardere Sports and Entertainment, which includes many of the acquisitions made by the division since its formation in 2010. The Lagardere Sports brand will include Sportfive, World Sport Group, IEC in Sports, Sports Marketing and Management and Lagardere Unlimited Inc.