Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is not only making plays on the court, he’s doing so off of it as well. Smith is in the process of parting ways with Creative Artists Agency and plans to sign with Rich Paul of Cleveland-based Klutch Sports, league sources informed cleveland.com.
When Dwight Howard made the decision to follow in Shaquille O’Neal’s footsteps yet again by choosing recently to sign with his agent, Perry Rogers, the Houston Rockets center paid little mind to the possibility that criticism might follow. If nothing else, his most vocal detractor — that being the TNT analyst in O’Neal who has spent years ridiculing Howard — wasn’t about to criticize him for the move. After all, O'Neal encouraged the idea. "(O’Neal) reached out to me (weeks ago) and felt like this could be something that could really help me in my future," Howard, who — like O’Neal — played for the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers, told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. "We talked, more so about basketball. And then we started talking about agents and all that stuff.
"He said, 'Hey, I've got somebody who really helped change my life and really sculptured the Shaq that you see today.' He introduced me to Perry. Perry came down to Houston. We had a really good conversation. It was a decision I made on my own. That’s why I liked it, because I decided to make it. There wasn't anybody who was around, anybody who could say, 'Yo, what do you think?' I went with what I felt was right (for) me."
After years of feuding, Houston Rockets star Dwight Howard and future Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal are partnering. Howard plans to hire O’Neal’s agent, Perry Rogers, for his new representation, multiple sources told The Vertical. Rogers could file official paperwork with the National Basketball Players Association as soon as Friday, sources said.
O’Neal, a longtime public nemesis of Howard’s, had extensive conversations with the Houston center and sold him on the marketing of “Superman” and the representation of Rogers, sources said. The potential of marketing Howard and O’Neal in advertisements together played a role, too, sources said. Howard and O’Neal progressed in the NBA with the same moniker of “Superman” – for which Shaq has publicly mocked Howard – and they both left the Orlando Magic for the Los Angeles Lakers in the middle of their careers.
"Just really been since I went to All Star break in Sedona (Ariz.) I've been spending time thinking and just trying to figure out what I can do to better myself and better my situation," Howard said. "It was nothing against my agent. It wasn't anything bad that he did to me. Sometimes, change is good. I just made a decision based on what I feel I needed to change. I always respect him and love him. We still talk now. But as far as him being my representation, I decided to go other ways."
Howard said he has not targeted another agent and is not weighing his free agent options. "Right now my focus is on us winning and trying to get to the playoffs and win a championship," Howard said. "All the other stuff, it's not a factor now."
Sam Amick: Rockets big man Dwight Howard has parted ways w/ agent Dan Fegan. He issued this statement to @USATODAYsports: "As I continue to embark on my NBA journey, I have decided to sever my relationship with Dan Fegan and Relativity Sports. I have the utmost respect for Dan, but this is the right decision for me. My sole focus remains working with my teammates to position the Rockets for a pursuit of a championship. I wish Dan and the team at Relativity all the best in the future."
Calvin Watkins: Dwight Howard says he's fired agent Dan Fegan. Dwight Howard said he presented the paperwork to Fegan recently and doesn't anticipate any issues.
Calvin Watkins: Dwight Howard had been interviewing agents of late and didn't give a specific reason why he let Fegan go. He seemed at peace with it.
The fact that Howard was known to be seriously considering a change in representation at the time, meanwhile, only complicated an already-tricky situation. Yet if Howard truly wanted out of Houston, he could have told those teams that he would pick up the player option for next season and push his free agency back to the summer of 2018. Instead, he stayed and the possibility of this partnership surviving thus remained.
Liz Mullen: Golden State Warriors F Draymond Green has signed with Serena Williams’ agent, Jill Smoller of WME, for off-court work. More in Closing Bell
Shams Charania: Golden State's Luke Walton has signed coaching representation with Wasserman Media Group, league sources tell The Vertical.
J. Michael: Marcin Gortat has "parted ways" w/his longtime agent Guy Zucker, a person w/knowledge of the situation told me, after 9yrs #WizardsTalk #NBA
J. Michael: Gortat has to wait 2 weeks before signing w/another agent which is standard. #WizardsTalk #NBA
Chris Haynes: Earl Watson, new interim coach of Phoenix Suns, will hire agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group, league sources inform @clevelanddotcom.
When the Bulls go to negotiate with Pau Gasol in free agency this summer, they will face a new representative. Gasol confirmed to the Tribune that he has filed the paperwork for Steven Heumann to represent him.
Heumann, who also represents Chris Paul and Tony Parker , works for Creative Artists Agency, which is headed by Leon Rose. That's an agent the Bulls know well from their pursuit of Carmelo Anthony and Rose's work for former coach Tom Thibodeau.
When the Bulls go to negotiate with Pau Gasol in free agency this summer, they will face a new representative. Gasol confirmed to the Tribune that he has filed the paperwork for Steven Heumann to represent him. Heumann, who also represents Chris Paul and Tony Parker, works for Creative Artists Agency, which is headed by Leon Rose. That's an agent the Bulls know well from their pursuit of Carmelo Anthony and Rose's work for former coach Tom Thibodeau.
Michael Scotto: John Wall's marketing & off court matters will be managed by his long-time friend & business manager Ty Williams (BYB Sports Marketing firm)
Marc J. Spears: With grace period over, Wizards G John Wall has officially signed with agent Rich Paul & his Klutch Sports Group, a Paul spokesperson said.
Avery Bradley has changed agents from Mitchell Butler of the Rival Sports Group to Rob Pelinka, who also represents Kobe Bryant. Butler was able to procure the oft-injured Bradley a four-year, $32 million contract extension last summer, considered an above-market deal. Now Bradley is apparently unhappy with his contract, especially after seeing players such as Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton (five years, $70 million), Utah’s Gordon Hayward (four years, $61 million), and Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson (five years, $82 million) cash in with lucrative extensions, making Bradley’s deal appear to be a bargain with the new television money increasing the salary cap this summer.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Yet another player making move to leverage next steps in his career: Boston’s Avery Bradley has hired agent Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports.
"Just a decision that I made, just thinking about it with my team," Wall said earlier in the week. "The people I was with have been a great partnership the five years I was with them. They did a lot of positive things for me. It was just a situation where I felt me and my team wanted to go in different ways with how I wanted to build my team." Wall wants what LeBron James -- and, a generation before both of them, Gary Payton -- achieved: representation that will empower those closest to him in meaningful positions.
Wall wants that for his closest friends, that grew up with him in Raleigh and have been there with him at every stop along the way, through his troubled childhood, his explosion as a basketball talent in high school, his year at Kentucky and his six seasons in Washington. And he believes Rich Paul -- among this season's worst-kept secrets is that Wall will hire Paul after the 15-day grace period to which players must adhere before hiring a new agent expires -- can do that. "That's the way," Wall said Saturday night, without naming any names. "That's what I want to do."
Wall will soon make his best friend, Ty Williams -- "my brother," Wall says -- his manager. Another friend, Reggie Jackson, is working at a bank in the D.C. area. Eric "E.J." Grissett is a disc jockey at local clubs; Alban (Bane) Okafor is a fledgling entrepreneur just as Rich Paul was all those years ago. And Wall wants his guys to follow that path.
League scuttlebutt has hinted that Wall wants a big, big shoe deal. The discussions Relativity was having with adidas, Wall's former shoe company, were not proceeding to his liking -- especially in the wake of Harden's 13-year, $200 million deal with adidas reached last year. Wall says that's not true. "That wasn't part of the decision why I wanted to make that" (agent) change, Wall said. "It was just something that I've been thinking about for a while. I'm still open to every shoe company. I'm going to talk to all of those guys through the process and figure out what I can do. I still have interest in adidas and all the other companies that want to talk to me and have a meeting. I'm open. I've just been wearing what's comfortable for my feet and protecting my feet for right now."
Jeff Zillgitt: In other NBA/agents news (for those are interested in such things), Thunder C Enes Kanter has left Max Ergul, I've been told.
Liz Mullen: Milwaukee Bucks G Greivis Vásquez has signed with @Octagon NBA agent Alex Saratsis for representation. He was formerly repped by WMG.
He fired his long-time agent Dan Fegan of Relativity Sports and explained his decision to reshape his career Wednesday. "The people I was with, it was a great partnership for the five years I was with it. Did a lot of great and positive things for me but it's just a situation where I felt me and my team wanted to go different ways in how we wanted to build out team," Wall said after morning shootaround before playing the Milwaukee Bucks. "It was a decision I made to part ways with them. ... I think just getting it off my chest was kind of a relief."
Wall has met with various agents, including several times with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, but hasn't signed with anyone. Paul, a lifelong friend of LeBron James, represents the superstar.
Nick DePaula: In his first game since switching to agent Rich Paul, John Wall is wearing LeBron 13s. (Pic via @Chris Miller) https://t.co/aiqnx8oTQN
Keith Pompey: According to sources, Joel Embiid is expected to sign with Leon Rose
David Aldridge: Just heard briefly from John Wall re: firing Dan Fegan. “Long story,” said Wall, who added he hasn’t signed with anyone else yet. Attorney @DarrenHeitner has reported Wall will sign with Klutch Sports’ Rich Paul, who represents LeBron James, Eric Bledsoe & others.
C.Ford: Ben McLemore only one not wearing Nike. Nick DePaula: Correct -- and Ben McLemore's rookie adidas shoe deal was done before he hired Rich Paul.
Nick DePaula: When John Wall turned pro in 2010, Nike had interest & made him this Hyperfuse PE, but Reebok offer was too strong. https://t.co/OTNtsv7oOo
Nick DePaula: Wow. Hearing that John Wall will leave agent Dan Fegan and is leaning towards hiring Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. (LeBron's agent.)
Darren Heitner: Sources: John Wall has fired agent Dan Fegan. Big losses for Relativity Basketball: Ed Davis, Austin Rivers, DeAndre Jordan, John Wall
However, he has since decided to return to Wasserman after his brief stint with BDA Sports Management. “It’s just a personal decision,” said Horford. “I just felt more comfortable being with Wasserman.” The change in his personnel was confirmed by Wasserman’s Twitter yesterday and was first announced by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Tandem Sports & Entertainment has signed Portland Trail Blazers guard Gerald Henderson and Dallas Mavericks guard Raymond Felton for representation on and off the court.
David 'Dubi' Pick: Source: Crvena Zvezda point-guard Gal Mekel has signed with Euro power-agent Misko Raznatovic.
The person who conducted Glenn Robinson’s negotiations was Dr. Charles Tucker. Now, 21 years later, Tucker will again be representing another high-profile Bucks player: Jabari Parker. Parker was the second overall selection in the 2014 draft and is regarded as one of the game’s up-and-coming stars. “I feel good about my decision,’’ said Parker, who had been represented by the Wasserman Media Group. “When it comes to Dr. Tucker. I have someone who fully supports me and will always be there for me.
But as happens when a powerful agent leaves an agency, there have been talent defections. Since Tellem departed, seven NBA players — LaMarcus Aldridge, Jamal Crawford, Danilo Gallinari, Gerald Henderson, Al Horford, Joe Johnson and Jabari Parker — have left. Two others, Mike Miller and Mike Dunleavy, left while Tellem was still at Wasserman. And two others, brothers Marc and Pau Gasol, remain Wasserman clients but are evaluating options.
“With B.J. Armstrong, Thad Foucher and Darren Matsubara heading our basketball business we are highly confident about our ability to maintain our leadership position,” WMG founder and Chairman Casey Wasserman said. The defections come after Wasserman agents negotiated more than $700 million in NBA contracts over the summer, including Aldridge’s $80 million contract with the Spurs and Gallinari’s two-year, $34 million extension with the Nuggets, before they left. Wasserman agents also negotiated big deals for clients who have stayed, including Davis’ five-year, $145 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, Brook Lopez’s three-year, $60 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets and Robin Lopez’s four-year, $54 million deal with the New York Knicks.
Erik Gundersen: Blazers guard Gerald Henderson has signed with agent Jim Tanner after leaving Wasserman, according to a league source.
You told us that there are some mistakes in our piece of article about Wasserman. What are they ? Makhtar N'Diaye (Wasserman agent): James Dunleavey left a long time ago before Arn Tellem. Michael Tellem has left because he didn't like his new job. Indeed, Danilo Gallinari followed him but five or six players have decided to fire him and stay with us.
How much has the loss of Arn Tellem impacted the agency life? Makhtar N'Diaye: Yes, the loss of Arn is huge. It's like a team that loses his franchise player. It's normal that there are some collateral damages. Every player had his own reason to leave us. When Arn left us, some players felt like orphans. Arn did take care himself of Joe Johnson. It's the same thing for Gasol brothers, but we signed the last contract of Marc and we will still be paid for that. If you look deeper, the two losses which hurt us a lot are Jabari Parker because he's young and has a tremendous potential, and Al Horford because his contract is expiring and he is a max contract player.
Chris Haynes: Mavericks G Raymond Felton has signed on with agent Jim Tanner of Tandem Sports and Entertainment. He recently parted ways with Wasserman.
Jabari Parker is leaving the Wasserman Media Group and agent B.J. Armstrong, the 20-year-old Bucks forward confirmed after the team shootaround Friday morning. Parker said he has not yet chosen a new agent but is doing his research. Several other big-name players have left or are reported to be considering leaving the Wasserman group after the departure of super agent Arn Tellem. During the off-season Tellem left the agency to become vice chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Detroit Pistons.
David 'Dubi' Pick: Source: Hawks star Al Horford, Blazers guard Gerald Henderson leaving agent B.J. Armstrong.
David 'Dubi' Pick: Source: Blazers guard Gerald Henderson is leaving Wasserman Media Group, agent B.J. Armstrong.
Bobby Marks: Gasol brothers join Jabari Parker, Al Horford, LaMarcus Aldridge, Joe Johnson and Danilo Gallinari as key losses. RT: Jeff Zillgitt: In related note, Marc & Pau Gasol also looking for new agents following Arn Tellem's departure from WMG to Pistons.
Jeff Zillgitt: In related note, Marc & Pau Gasol also looking for new agents following Arn Tellem's departure from WMG to Pistons. twitter.com/cf_gardner/sta…
David 'Dubi' Pick: Source: Nuggets star Danilo Gallinari, agent Michael Tellem - son of Arn Tellem - left Wasserman for CAA.
Sam Amick: Tidbit from agent ranks: Blazers big man Ed Davis is now represented by Paolo Zamorano of IT Sports Management. Was previously w/ Relativity
Liz Mullen: Breaking: Happy Walters has left Relativity Sports. The sports agency will conduct a search for a new CEO. More in today's Closing Bell.
Liz Mullen: Happy Walters announced today he is leaving Relativity Sports to form a new sports and media company. More in Closing Bell
Third-year swingman Shabazz Muhammad walked out after practice today with agent Rob Pelinka, who also reps Jones. Muhammad apparently switched agents over the summer, from Bill Duffy (who has Wiggins and LaVine among many, many others) to Pelinka.
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.
Zach Lowe: Interesting twist in Harrison Barnes switching agents: sources say he pushed back on standard 4% commission agents get on new contracts.
The offer of $16 million per year annually – comparable to teammate Draymond Green's five-year, $82.5 million extension this summer – had been negotiated by Barnes' former agent, Jeff Wechsler. After that initial offer, Wechsler countered with a figure north of $16 million annually before he and Barnes parted ways, league sources said. Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports is representing Barnes now.
Marc J. Spears: Warriors forward Harrison Barnes has changed representation and signed with agent Jeff Schwartz, a source said.
Chris Haynes: Warriors F Harrison Barnes has parted ways with agent Jeff Wechsler, I'm told. Barnes is up for an extension.
Nets Daily: Joe Johnson has changed agents, league sources tell NetDaily. Long repped by Arn Tellem, he's now a client of Jeff Schwartz of Excel.
The journey Jordan Clarkson experienced as an emerging rookie briefly veered from his basketball development toward business. Excel Sports Management and Clarkson parted ways last month, according to league sources familiar with the situation. Though Excel Sports Management cut ties with Clarkson, the Lakers rookie guard also felt frustrated with the agency’s communication and conflicting information about marketing opportunities, according to a league source familiar with his thinking. Clarkson had worked with agents Mike George and Jeff Schwartz.
Despite the terminated relationship, Clarkson has to pay Excel Sports an undisclosed percentage of money despite leaving, according to a league familiar with the terms.
Jon Krawczynski: AP sources say Excel Sports Management severed ties with Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson last month.
Brad Turner: Can confirm that Clippers guard Austin Rivers has joined agent Andy Miller, as @Liz Mullen first reported.
Brad Turner: Clippers center DeAndre Jordan has parted ways with his representatives from Relativity Sports, per source.
David Pick: Source: LaMarcus Aldridge has left Wasserman Media Group. Told he is joining Excel Sports.
David 'Dubi' Pick: Source: LaMarcus Aldridge has left Wasserman Media Group. Told he is joining Excel Sports.
March 25, 2023 | 5:21 am EDT Update
Jarace Walker to enter the draft
Jon Rothstein: Houston’s Jarace Walker told reporters that he plans to declare for the 2023 NBA Draft. Walker is projected to be a lottery pick.
Jayson Tatum on Jaylen Brown: 'Without him, we can’t reach our goal'
Jayson Tatum on what he and Brad Stevens told Jaylen Brown during the past offseason: “Just reassuring the obvious — that we need him. He’s a big part of this team, this franchise. Without him, we can’t reach our goal.”
Jaylen Brown: “It’s the beginning of Ramadan. So definitely being in better spirits. Trying to be… I guess… Smile more a little bit. Just to come out and show your enthusiasm and love for the game. I get that a lot if I don’t smile enough.”
Austin Reaves: 'I want to make as much money as I can and be as successful as I can no matter where it’s at'
NBA Central: Austin Reaves says he’d like to stay with the Lakers but the NBA is a business “Anybody that says we don’t play the game for money is lying… I want to make as much money as I can and be as successful as I can no matter where it’s at.”
Kyrie Irving responds to boos: 'If the fans wanna change places, then hey, be my guest'
Tim MacMahon: Kyrie Irving on boos in Dallas: “So what? … You obviously want to play well, but you it’s only five people on the court that can play for Dallas Mavericks. If the fans wanna change places, then hey, be my guest. Got years of work ahead to be great enough to be on this level.”
Draymond Green: Joel Embiid is the hardest guy to guard in the league
After the game, Embiid told Green why he was inspired into such a herculean effort against Golden State. “He said, ‘You know why I played like that tonight?,” Green recalled on the postgame podium. “You said Joker was the hardest person to guard in the league, so I took that personal.’ So I wanna tell y’all Joel is the hardest guy to guard in the league.”