Spurs forward Keldon Johnson said he’s leaving San Antonio firm Fundamental Sports Management to sign with powerhouse agency Klutch Sports Group was a business decision. “It was long and thought out, but at the end of the day, I am up and coming, and I just wanted the best representation,” he said at shootaround Tuesday morning.
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: Sacramento Kings sharpshooter Buddy Hield has changed agents and is now being represented by Diana Day of Icona Agency.
Jorge Sierra: Nets guard Cam Thomas has signed with Tandem Sports + Entertainment/You First agency. Jim Tanner and Terrence Felder will represent him.
And part of that is attributable to the big brother LaVine gained in Tokyo. He even switched his representation to Klutch Sports Group, the same agency that represents Green, after winning a gold medal. “I talk to him about a lot of things,” LaVine said. “Life skills. Upbringing. I made the decision to go with Klutch and with Rich (Paul), and he was with them. And I think that helped guide me a little bit to help me figure out what I wanted to do and me making my own decision at the end of the day.”
Emiliano Carchia: Philadelphia 76er guard Furkan Korkmaz has signed with agents Jason Glushon and Dan Tobin, sources tell @Emiliano Carchia
Excel Sports: Attorney Rick Shapiro and NBA agent Michael Tellem join Excel. Shapiro will act as a senior advisor for our baseball division and Tellem will join to lead international basketball recruiting. #exceling. Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA agent Michael Tellem joins Excel Sports. He represents two of the top 11 players in ESPN’s Top 100 for the 2022 NBA Draft: Yannick Nzosa of Unicaja Malaga and Ousmane Dieng of the NZ Breakers.
Emiliano Carchia: Furkan Korkmaz officially terminated his representation agreement with Excel Sports and is about to pick up a new agent soon, I am told
Dave McMenamin: Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn has signed with Klutch Sports Group, league sources told ESPN. Undrafted out of college, Nunn has averaged 15 pts and 3 ast per game in his first two seasons in the league with the Miami Heat and figures to have a prominent role in L.A.’s title hunt
After not getting a new contract, LaVine left his old agents and signed with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports after the Olympics. The move drew attention and speculation on LaVine's plans, though Paul has a history of negotiating long-term extensions to stay with teams in addition to helping star players force their way out of places. "For me, it was more of a leadership part where I needed to go and align myself with a brand I really wanted to be with," LaVine said of the move. "I just wanted to continue to grow my brand and Klutch aligned with me perfectly. I can't account for what other people's opinions might be. I made this decision for me and my family moving forward."
Jorge Sierra: Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane has signed with agent Jim Tanner of Tandem Sports + Entertainment/You First.
Chris Haynes: Phoenix Suns’ versatile young standout Cameron Johnson has changed representation, hiring agents Ty Sullivan, Steve Heumann, Melvin Booker (Devin Booker’s dad) and Simone Capers of @CAA_Basketball.
Liz Mullen: Memphis Grizzlies G Desmond Bane has left his agent Seth Cohen of SAC Sports Family. He is currently without an agent and is in the NBPA's 15-day waiting period before he can sign with a new one.
Zach LaVine: Everything is a learning experience, and to grow we all must embrace change - only by strengthening our foundation can we ensure longevity! I’m excited to join @klutchsports pic.twitter.com/HwW75SQWl0
KC Johnson: Innovate Sports, BDA Sports and Zach LaVine sever ties, per sources.
Jordan Schultz: 🚨 Breaking: James Harden, per sources, is cutting ties with Jason Ranne and Chafie Fields of Wasserman - whom he hired to help facilitate his trade from the #Rockets to the #Nets. Harden’s new representation will be long time friend Lorenzo McCloud, along w/the NBPA.
Liz Mullen: Free agent PG Elfrid Payton has signed with @Wasserman NFL/NBA agent Chafie Fields. He was formerly repped by CAA.
Scott Agness: Victor Oladipo has changed agents and will now be represented by Jeff Schwartz and @javonphillips of @Excel Sports, per source. Oladipo, who soon becomes an unrestricted free agent, is rehabbing from a second surgery on his right quad.
Joel Embiid is a free agent. Relax, 76ers fans, not that type of free agent. Embiid is under contract for at least two more seasons. The MVP runner-up has left Creative Artists Agency, according to multiple league sources.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Embiid had been represented at the agency by former super agent Leon Rose before Rose became the New York Knicks’ president of basketball operations on March 2, 2020. Rose and Embiid had a great agent/client relationship.
After Rose left, Embiid remained with CAA, where he was represented by Michael Tellem. Now he’s interested in building the right marketing team.
Keith Kreiter: Proud to Announce @Mychal Mulder has Joined the #EdgeFamily Looking forward to the Special Journey Ahead #RisingStars2021
Backup center Nerlens Noel, a pending free agent, said he switched agents two weeks ago from Rich Paul to Chris Gaston. “I’m not really worried about that,” Noel said. “I’ve been focused on being a New York Knick, playing basketball at the highest level possible and being focused.”
Ian Begley: Former Knick Allonzo Trier is now being represented by James Dunleavy of Excel Sports Management. Dunleavy represented Trier during his Knicks tenure.
Isaiah Thomas: Yes, I hired Bernie Lee. You know, that was a tough decision for me because Excel has been everything for me the last five years, they've been more of a family to me. And Sam Goldfeder is somebody that I have so much respect for. I just felt like I needed new energy. And I needed something new. So it was mutually agreed on that we parted ways and there's no hard or bad feelings towards what that group has done for me and how they worked for me the last five years, so I can't thank them enough.
Par-Lay Sports & Entertainment: We’re excited to welcome @Richaun Holmes to Par-lay! He is a force to reckon with for the @Sacramento Kings , having an ALL-STAR season! Off the court, Richaun founded @stay22uned. An organization that focuses on Basketball, Business, Philanthropy and more. #TeamParLay
Wasserman: Thrilled to welcome @James Harden to Wasserman. Can’t wait to see you hit the court in Brooklyn #TeamWass
After having represented himself, Dinwiddie has taken on LA-based agent Jason Glushon, according to Forbes. Dinwiddie just had ACL surgery and has a $12.3 million player option for next season.
Alex Kennedy: Nerlens Noel told http://BasketballNews.com that he has terminated his relationship with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, and he's currently looking for a new agent. Noel signed a one-year deal with the New York Knicks this offseason. Rich Paul and Klutch Sports maintain that they amicably parted ways with Nerlens Noel. The NBPA confirmed that the relationship is terminated, but wouldn't divulge who filed the paperwork.
A source said Robinson’s trainer, Marcel Scott, is close to Foucher, who has eyed Robinson for more than a year. Robinson’s reputation is intriguing because he signed an unorthodox contract after being drafted in the second round — a modest, four-year deal filled with team options. He is under contract for next season but it’s a team option that would pay just $1.8 million. The Knicks, if they are still convinced Robinson is their center of the future, can do the right thing and give him an extension or just rip up the final year. “It is [frustrating],’’ Robinson said about switching reps so often. “Not having an agent, it is. But it’s like a thing where you learn and you learn until you get the right one. So that’s basically what I’m doing until I get the one that’s really down for me. It’s a lesson.’’
Paul, who reps LeBron James and Anthony Davis, among others at Klutch Sports, wanted to be a difference-maker with Robinson and teach him the finer points of how the league is played and works. But now he has been bounced. “It was just like personal stuff,” Robinson said. “I don’t really want to get into that. But it was just personal. I just felt like I needed something different.”
On Sunday’s episode of “Ball in the Family,” Ball discussed the decision to join Klutch and Rich Paul at length, including discussing his desires to grow his profile off the court. Here’s a full transcript of the three segments in which Ball talks about his move, the middle of which comes in a conversation with girlfriend Denise Garcia: “I think signing with Klutch was a good step for me just because I got make that decision 100% myself. I think Rich (Paul) has a ton of influence, so I’m definitely (with) my career in his hands.”
“I had a meeting with Rich that was good. I really just wanted to make the decision for myself. I feel like everything else been kind of like the whole family thing but I wanted to do what was best, that I felt, for me. I like the way he approaches things. I think they’ll open up a lot of doors off the court as well.”
Liz Mullen: Jessica Holtz, @CAA Sports marketing agent, has taken on a new role & will represent Timberwolves C Karl-Anthony Towns & Suns G Devin Booker on the court as well as off. SBJ: bit.ly/3leqQCN pic.twitter.com/fpv4kk3KjF
Adrian Wojnarowski: Marcus and Markieff Morris -- unrestricted free agent forwards -- have signed with agent @Chafie Fields of Wasserman, sources tell ESPN. Fields is one of the few agents representing both NFL and NBA clients.
Chris Patrick: Our family is growing! Very excited to welcome @Bucks point guard and former @KUHoops star @Frank Mason to the crew. Future is very bright for this young man who has been BALLING in the bubble and we are honored to be working with him!
BDA Sports Intl: We are excited to welcome NBA forward @Kenneth Faried to the @BDA_Sports Family! Earlier this week, Faried worked out at @P3sportscience at the same time as NBA Draft prospect @Braxton Key and offered this great advice to him about what mindset is needed to succeed in the league!
Darren Wolfson: #Timberwolves RFA Malik Beasley is now represented by agent Brian Jungreis. Him and Klutch Sports parted ways months ago, officially very recently, Jungreis will be busy when FA starts since he also reps Fred Van Vleet.
Shams Charania: Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has parted with Roc Nation agency and is seriously considering representing himself, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Scott Agness: Raptors forward OG Anunoby has switched from Octagon to Klutch Sports for representation, reuniting him with agent Omar Wilkes.
Three years into his NBA career, New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball views this as a pivotal offseason, which began with an important business decision: Ball has signed with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, the 22-year-old told ESPN. "I wanted to lead my career," Ball told ESPN. "Picking my own representation -- just solely as my decision -- was step one in that process. For me, it was an easy call, and it was the right time to make that call."
Said LaVar Ball, reached over the phone by ESPN: "He's always been his own man. As a father, all I can do is guide him. I'm not going to take a lesser role. I am going to be his father, and that's it."
Older agents can sell players on their experience and a client list and several big contract signings as proof of their work compared to younger agents seeking their first big deal. “For me, I think what’s used against me is that I’m inexperienced, so I don’t really have the experience or the power, which is I think a bunch of b——- at the end of the day,” one agent told HoopsHype. “I don’t think that’s a real thing. I think it comes into play a little bit. Relationships are important, but at the end of the day, I still think talent is really what sets the mark. I mean, me and you could be LeBron James‘ agent, he’s going to get a max contract.”
Usually, the first sense an agent has the relationship with a client is nearing the end is when the player doesn’t return phone calls or text messages. “By the time they get to the phone, you could tell when someone calls you if they have the balls, most of the time they don’t, it’s by text,” one veteran agent told HoopsHype. “You know, it’s really an empty veil. It’s like a breakup by text with a girl you know or divorcing someone by sending them a letter or an email. It’s like thanks for your service, but I decided to move on. Very rarely do you get the reason why.”
While some agents felt their termination was coming, most of the agents expressed shock when terminated. “I talked to an agent once out of New York who said, “S— my guy was toasting me at my wedding, and a week later, I got a FedEx package,” one longtime player rep told HoopsHype. Another agent was preparing to negotiate a deal for his client on July 1. This agent saw the FedEx truck showing up at his cul de sac on June 15th. At that moment, the agent knew without opening the envelope that he’d been fired and would lose a large commission.
Third, the bad blood between the two parties can boil over into a heated confrontation and bitterness for years to come. “I think in the beginning of my career I probably lost my cool one time with one guy,” an agent with a handful of years as a certified agent told HoopsHype. “We exchanged some words and kind of got into it where he was like threatening me.” Many times before games, a former agent and client will look at each other and turn away immediately or say hello briefly and carry on. Generally, the tension can be felt by those around both people.
Whether it’s a family member, manager, trainer, former coach, close friend, teammate, or someone else in a player’s inner circle, there’s usually an angle for an intermediary to push for a change in representation. “Everyone’s incentivized when people switch,” one prominent agent told HoopsHype. “Somebody’s getting paid, like 99 (percent) someone’s getting taken care of in the next contract, or somebody’s getting paid when there’s an intermediary involved. Sometimes, players grow up, and they start to figure things out, and then they don’t use an intermediary. They learn enough, they talk to some veterans that they respect, who have a good reputation. They say, ‘I’m going to find someone for me, not who my dad wanted or, or my AAU coach wanted or whoever. I want to make my own decision.'”
“They (sneaker reps) have relationships with the players at a different angle, and they’re trying to push players with an agenda whether it’s for kickbacks, which I assume it is, or it’s for another reason, I don’t know, but they don’t play neutral,” one agent who has negotiated maximum-salary contracts and large endorsement deals told HoopsHype. “Then you’ve got the managers, and then you got the trainers. If you don’t sync up everybody onto your page and everyone’s biting out of your pocket, you’re going to lose a guy. You have to insulate the player to anyone that has any influence, and people that you don’t know have an influence, you have to be aware of as well. It’s a never-ending cycle. I remember one time, there was a tailor, like a clothier, who had influence over players who was pushing them to an agent for a kickback.”
The battle between agents for a client and a hefty commission can get heated if any of these scenarios occur, and a poaching attempt is provable. “You have to get in the agent’s face and say, ‘Stay out of my yard,’” an agent told HoopsHype. “Then, you have to write them a law letter claiming tortious interference. Send them a very strong letter to say I’m not going to tolerate this, and you have to police it yourself. You either move the needle that way or the person is criminal, he doesn’t give a s— anyway, he does it anyway, and then you’ve got a battle on your hands.”
Klutch Sports: We are excited to have @BenMcLemore back with the Klutch Sports Group Family! https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EfFMzIRVoAAjx0G.jpg
David Carro: Very exciting to announce @facucampazzo joins @OctagonBballEU family! Welcome to arguably the best point guard in @EuroLeague Big heart, humble person and magic talent all together. With the best: @claudio_villita Honored. @FairPlayCM
Ian Begley: Sources: Willie Cauley-Stein has signed with Adie von Gontard of Young Money APAA Sports for representation. Cauley-Stein, who is not in the bubble due to personal reasons, has a $2.3 million player option for next season. Interesting young player for teams w/cap space like NYK
Eric Woodyard: Former Oklahoma State star Jawun Evans has switched agencies to CAA. The 2017 2nd-round pick spent this past season with the Raptors 905 of the NBA G League.
Michael Singer: Inbox: Nuggets forward Noah Vonleh has signed with Tandem Sports/ You First Sports. They’ll handle Vonleh’s negotiations, marketing and PR.
“I would ask those fans who are fans of Trae or Atlanta fans to just look at his history. He knows this is a team effort, but he wants to have that statue next to Dominique (Wilkins) one day, man. I’ve told you this before, my son is 6-foot-1, but he thinks he’s the best player on the court no matter if LeBron is on the floor with him. Hopefully, it never backfires on him, but he’s got big balls and is very confident. He just knows what he wants to accomplish. I never think my son is going to join a super team unless they all come to Atlanta. He’s just got too much pride to do that. Maybe that pride will backfire, but who knows. My son has seen it happen here in Oklahoma City with (Kevin Durant). He wasn’t one of those who called him a cupcake, but he’s seen the backlash of something like that happen.” Young’s contract with Klutch is expected to become official Tuesday afternoon. On Monday, Young was on a conference call with Adidas, one of his main sponsors, brainstorming how he and the company can help black-owned businesses in Atlanta.
“Most definitely because at the end of the day, Trae needs to focus on basketball,” Rayford said. “Trae needs to focus on helping the team win and helping them get to the playoffs. He’s got to have someone he knows when he needs to call the front office, if it’s positive or negative. He needs to have a voice representing him who he could trust. I hate to put it this way; it can’t be someone who just has a long history of being an agent. It has to be someone who he feels good with. It can’t be someone who just because they rep one of the top five players or top 10 players of the league. Trae didn’t go to Klutch just because of A.D. or LeBron. He went there because he believes guys like Rich and Omar can make some calls for him. You have to go with who you’re comfortable with. That’s on the court and off the court. Hopefully, Trae is in the position one day to play with who he’s comfortable with. That’s just the opportunities he’s building for himself now.”
JD Shaw: Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young has signed with Klutch Sports for representation.
Young recently notified Octagon of his decision, sources said. Sources say Young will soon begin the process of interviewing agents and is weighing all of his options. He is in no rush to make a decision, but sources say the frontrunner for the Hawks’ franchise player is the agency founded by Rich Paul.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Two agencies -- Tandem and You First -- have merged, per release. Combined clients include Ja Morant, Kristaps Porzingis and Serge Ibaka. “Merging our efforts in basketball will create exciting new possibilities as well as broader expertise," Tandem's President Jim Tanner said.
Liz Mullen: Indiana Pacers PG Aaron Holiday has signed with @BDA_Sports. NBA agents Bill Duffy & Nima Namakian are representing him.
August 9, 2022 | 6:25 pm EDT Update
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the meeting took place this past Saturday, and Kevin Durant indicated that he could stay with Brooklyn if general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash were no longer there. Understandably, peers of Marks and Nash were not happy. “I get that players have more power these days, but I think it’s a little too far if he’s out here trying to get Steve fired,” said one coach, who was quickly reminded of Magic Johnson’s fingerprints on Paul Westhead’s firing back in November of 1981 and other power plays, some of which may well have been justified.
The head of basketball ops from another club was similarly displeased. “Livid,” he said. “Livid. He and Kyrie (Irving) basically told Sean they were coming (as free agents in 2019), and Sean did pretty much everything they wanted after that. Signing DeAndre Jordan for four years? That’s something Kyrie and KD wanted. Getting James Harden? Then getting a guy who should be a perfect complement to them (Ben Simmons) when Harden wanted out? Sean did all that.”
However, when asked if he would welcome Durant to his own club should he be attainable at a fair price, the exec paused and laughed. “Well … ” he said. “OK, you got me there. But, see, that’s the part of this that will always be hard for some people to grasp. I’m talking about the fans who just see the players as employees. These guys are not interchangeable parts. You can’t just plug in someone else to do what KD does.”
Detroit Pistons center Kelly Olynyk is a married man! The basketball star, 31, wed his longtime love Jackie McNulty, 31, in a traditional, yet playful, outdoor ceremony at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez, California Saturday, as personal guests of the winery’s owners.
Nick DePaula: Stephen Curry & Snoop Dogg donated a new gym court to the Boys & Girls Club at MLK Park in Long Beach today — the gym where Snoop “shot my first layup”
August 9, 2022 | 3:12 pm EDT Update
RTG Features (Alaskan Nets) and MSM (The Last Dance) have tapped David Charles Rodrigues (Neymar: The Perfect Chao) to direct a new feature doc about the high-scoring NBA trio of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin —collectively known as Run TMC— and how they set the stage for the present-day dynasty of the world-champion Golden State Warriors, led by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.