Wasserman NBA agents completed more than half a billion dollars in playing contracts and shoe deals for clients in recent months. That number includes about $250 million in shoe contracts, including Phoenix Suns rookie forward Josh Jackson’s deal with Under Armour, which was announced before he was taken No. 4 in the draft.
Bembry’s agent, Adam Pensack, said about five workouts with NBA teams were canceled for his client due to the death of his brother. One was a workout with the Chicago Bulls against then-Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine. The Bulls ended up drafting Valentine with the 14th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. A workout for the Indiana Pacers was also canceled. Indiana also drafted a shooting guard in Michigan’s Caris LeVert with the 20th pick. A workout with the Toronto Raptors, owners of the ninth and 28th picks, was also canceled. With Bembry in mourning, the last thing Pensack was going to do was push his client to work out for teams to help improve his draft stock. Among the workouts Bembry did take part in before his brother died was a productive one with the Hawks, who had the 21st pick.
The Lakers say they didn’t. To hear Lakers officials tell it, Kuzma — whom L.A. had a front-row seat to scout in the Pac-12 — was ranked much higher on the franchise’s board than the 27th spot they snagged him the June draft. Now, everyone says that, but Kuzma’s sharp shooting in the preseason (62 percent) has several rival executives believing the Lakers got a steal. “He can play,” texted one rival exec. “We missed it.”