NBA Hall of Famer and New York Liberty general manager Isiah Thomas has been a close adviser and mentor to Brown, league sources said. NBPA attorney Ron Klempner is expected to work closely with Brown on his representation needs, sources said. There’s little, if any, room for negotiation in rookie contracts, and Brown wants to take time to learn the industry before eventually committing to an agent, sources said. The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement has slotted salaries for first-round draft picks, although many agents don’t take commissions on those first deals for high-level players.
Brown had been aggressively pursued by all the major agencies, but recently told them that he would use the union, sources said. Near the end of his NBA career, Stephon Marbury utilized the NBPA do negotiate his contracts. Although rare, the union does offer the service to players, and the compensation for the work falls within the annual dues that every player pays.
ESPN: Most people believe you will opt out of your contract with Houston on July 1. Are you leaning that way? Howard: “To be honest, I have had some conversations with close friends on what would happen if I do opt out. But I haven’t really come out and said, ‘I’m going to opt out and do this and that.’ I just can’t focus on that right now. We didn’t have the kind of season we wanted, and I didn’t have the kind of season I wanted and it was really upsetting to me. So my thinking is, ‘I’m going to get in the gym, get my body right and when the playoffs are over take a look at everything.’ As much as it may seem crazy or unbelievable that I’m not thinking about it, every time I do think about it, my mind starts racing back and forth. I don’t need that kind of pressure right now. My agent (Perry Rogers) is smart. He’s done this for years. Let him worry about the teams and the [contract] numbers.”