NBA rumors: Dwight Howard to hire Shaq’s agent

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.

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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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
David Pick: Source: Pistons forward Marcus Morris no longer rep'd by CAA.
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September 28, 2021 | 10:50 am EDT Update

Ben Simmons not interested in playing with Joel Embiid anymore

Yet of all the problem areas to explore, there’s none more unyielding and impossible to ignore than this: People who have intimate knowledge of how he sees this situation continue to insist that he’s done playing with Embiid. There’s nothing personal about this choice, it seems, but the 25-year-old Simmons has clearly decided that his career is better off without Embiid blocking the runways in the paint that he so badly needs to succeed.
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“I watched last night a player lead their team to victory where a thousand pounds of digital ink were spilled on how much he would never play for that team again,” Morey had said of the Green Bay Packers star who led a last-second win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night after looking destined for a divorce with the franchise just months ago. “Look, every situation is different, but we have a lot of optimism that we can make it work here. …Ben’s a great player, and we expect him back. We expect him to be a 76er.” Cue the response. “It’s total bullshit,” one source with knowledge of Simmons’ outlook said of Morey’s analysis.
Truth be told, sources say Simmons thought he would have been traded by now. When he met with the Sixers brass at the Los Angeles home of his agent, Rich Paul, in August, telling managing partner Josh Harris in direct fashion that he no longer wanted to play for his club, the goal was to avoid this sort of mess. Sources say the Sixers had come equipped with all sorts of reasons that he should want to stay, and even supported the argument with a statistically based presentation featuring the success of the Embiid-Simmons pairing. But his view, his uneasy feelings about the problematic fit remained unchanged.
Early on last season, when the intel coming the Philadelphia 76ers guard’s way indicated that he’d likely be trading places with then Rockets-star James Harden, Simmons was so convinced that new Sixers president Daryl Morey was about to reunite with his favorite franchise player that he started researching on the real estate front. If you had to pinpoint a moment when emotional ties were severed between Simmons and the only NBA franchise he has ever known, that may have been it.
Storyline: Ben Simmons Trade?
Kevin Porter Jr.’s presence in Houston is much more than basketball “This organization saved my life potentially.” The room stood still for a moment when Porter spoke about the importance of the Houston Rockets to his personal life. So often when we talk about trades, we look at how Player X can impact a new team. But we rarely look at the other side of the game, the mental side. Porter’s past is well-documented, and he spoke about his tough upbringing. In Cleveland, he didn’t truly feel like it was the right place for him or his growth. Being traded to the Rockets was “a breath of fresh air.”