Jeff Schwartz Rumors
Changing agents is nothing new in the NBA, especially for Jordan, who had employed three different agencies to represent him in contract negotiations in his first seven seasons. When DeAndre Jordan fired Dan Fegan in 2015, whose cozy relationship with Mavs owner Mark Cuban cast a shadow over the initial decision to sign with Dallas, Jordan was required by players association rules to wait 15 days to hire a new one. “He was deciding between Jeff [Schwartz] and Rich Paul,” a person familiar with Jordan’s thinking told Bleacher Report. “I had heard back then that he was 100 percent signing with Jeff.”
Meanwhile, Ryan McDonough’s phone was buzzing constantly, as tends to happen when you are the general manager of a team embroiled in multiple and intertwined controversies. One notification alarmed him: a voicemail from Jeff Schwartz, the New York-based power agent who represents Tyson Chandler. “Given the way our season had started,” McDonough says, “it wouldn’t have been shocking if Tyson wanted to be moved.” Schwartz delivered the opposite message, the two recall: “Tyson is fine.” He likes Phoenix, Schwartz told McDonough, and enjoys mentoring the young Suns. “It was a breath of fresh air,” McDonough says.
In the offseason, the largest source of “sourced” information comes from the agent community. While there are some agents, you have likely heard of such as Dan Fegan, Andy Miller (ASM Sports), B.J. Armstrong (Wasserman), Bill Duffy (BDA Sports), and Jeff Schwartz (Excel Sports), these are the top of the food chain in the agent world. However, the army of support agents that work under them or the smaller agents that have a small group of clients make up the biggest percentage of the agent community. They also make up the largest sewing circle of NBA information out there.
After a positive dinner with the Knicks and a workout focused on the triangle, Malik Monk was absolutely convinced he’d be drafted by Phil Jackson. And for good reason. His agent, Jeff Schwartz — one of the most powerful in the NBA — served as a reliable source. “Me, my agent, everybody in my agency, my family — we thought we were going to New York,” Monk told the Daily News last week after a posing for his Panini trading card. “It was here, my agent is here (based in New York), a great agent, everybody thought it was going to be here. Went to dinner with (Jackson), had a great workout, everything was positive.”
Monk, who averaged 19.8 points during his lone season at Kentucky, dropped to 11th for the Charlotte Hornets amid concerns that he’s position-less in the NBA (too small for shooting guard and not enough of a playmaker for a point guard). He’ll get his first chance to show New York it made a mistake on Nov. 7, when the Knicks host the Hornets at Madison Square Garden. “Of course (it’s motivation to show-up a team that passed on me in the draft),” Monk said. “You know you want to go No. 1 pick anyway. So whoever don’t pick you, you’re going to remember that. I mean, they’re going to see.”
Not long ago, I discussed with Dallas Mavericks boss Donnie Nelson the value of relationships with agents. “Put it this way,” Donnie said. “We wouldn’t have won the 2011 NBA title without the friendships that we have with Jeff Schwartz and Dan Fegan.”