Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving is changing representation and expected to partner with Roc Nation Sports, league sources told ESPN. Irving parted ways with longtime agent Jeff Wechsler on Wednesday, clearing the way for him to ultimately work with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation prior to the start of free agency on June 30, sources said.
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Irving, a six-time All-Star, will become an unrestricted free agent and league sources say that he remains intensely interested in the Brooklyn Nets. The New York Knicks are expected to remain competitive for Irving too, sources tell ESPN.
Alex Kennedy: Shane Larkin is no longer with agent Jim Tanner of Tandem Sports. The 26-year-old spent this season with Anadolu Efes, leading them to the Final Four while averaging 19.6 points, 3.6 threes and 3.2 assists (on 64.7% from the field and 50% from deep). He’s looking for a new agent.
While the fiasco surrounding Big Baller Brand and Alan Foster, Lonzo Ball has endured plenty of emotional turmoil in the recent month. Forced to sever ties with the co-founder of the company, Ball has since sued Foster and begun moving on from the company and Foster himself. During his exit interview on Wednesday, Ball discussed publicly the situation for the first time. “We just put so much trust in him. So, when that came out in October – like I said, he’s like my second dad – I just talked to him and I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it when he gave me his story. Looking back at it, obviously I wish we would have jumped on it back in October. But I’m glad we still caught it.”
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball has committed to work with Creative Artists Agency after mutually parting ways with his previous agent, Harrison Gaines, last week. “After thinking about this decision over the last few weeks, I concluded that CAA made the most sense for my career both on and off the court,” Ball told ESPN in a statement Monday. “With CAA now in place to manage my basketball career, I can focus my attention and energy on training for the upcoming season.”
Ball said he talked with several different agencies as he rethought his business affairs after severing ties and suing former Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster for damages of at least $2 million. Ball insisted that Gaines had supported him through the situation with Foster and the decision to part ways was unrelated. Ball’s father, LaVar Ball, has had discussions with CAA and other agencies as well, according to industry sources, but it remains unclear how he, his younger sons LiAngelo and LaMelo, and Big Baller Brand will move forward.
Why did you and Lonzo Ball agree to part ways now? Does it have anything to do with the issues the family has with Alan Foster? Harrison Gaines: No, it does not. As I said in my statement two weeks ago, my interaction with Alan Foster was limited. Anybody around the situation knows I was completely distant from anything Big Baller Brand related. I love Lonzo like a brother; our decision to part ways had nothing to do with our relationship. It was solely based on his family’s new direction/expectations and my own personal growth moving forward.
Were you actually ever part of a Ball Sports Group agency or did you independently run your own agency? People have been asking whether Lonzo had any equity in your agency or whether he received a piece of your commissions. Can you clear the air on that? Harrison Gaines: No, the Ball Sports Group was an agency in theory. Lavar and Alan Foster did not want the public to think the brothers were represented by an outside entity. Therefore, I agreed to hold Ball Sports Group out in reference to the brothers.
But there are concerns from respective agents with LaVar’s involvement and where the family stands financially with the failed Big Baller Brand, sources said. In the process of vetting agent candidates during meetings, LaVar is inquiring if the agencies have the power to pair his three sons — Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo — on the same NBA team, sources said.
LaMelo, the youngest son, may have an NBA future, but middle son LiAngelo is not viewed as an NBA-caliber player. Multiple agents have reached out to gauge the interest of Lonzo Ball, sources said, but most became uninterested once notified LaVar is still running the show.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball and his agent, Harrison Gaines, have mutually agreed to part ways. “Harrison Gaines has been a trusted advisor and close friend for many years,” Ball told ESPN in a statement. “He guided my NBA career with integrity and always had my best interests at heart.”
“Lonzo Ball was the first client to sign with me. He has been nothing short of phenomenal and is one of the bright young NBA Stars. I thank him and his family for giving me an opportunity,” Gaines told ESPN in a statement. “Mutually, we have decided to part ways. I wish Lonzo great success in the future. As I turn this page, I will continue to work hard for all of my clients.”
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green told ESPN’s The Undefeated on Tuesday that he has officially signed with a new representation agency in Klutch Sports that also represents LeBron James. Green, a three-time NBA champion and three-time All-Star, was previously represented by agent B.J. Armstrong with The Wasserman Group. Green signed with Klutch Sports, led by president and agent Rich Paul, on Feb. 27 in Miami.
Green will be an unrestricted free agent in 2020. “Klutch is a cutting-edge company, it’s a pure environment, and I’ve grown to know Rich over the years,” Green told The Undefeated. “We’ve become very close. When you really take a step back and actually study what is going on, he checks every box that a player would want in an agent. So, why not? Some are afraid of what people will think or what will be said. That’s not the case for me.”
Chris Haynes: Sacramento Kings young star De’Aaron Fox (@swipathefox) going in a new direction, hiring his longtime trainer Chris Gaston (@gastonbball) to serve as his agent. Gaston, newly certified, launching “Family First Sports Firm” and will also rep New York Knicks guard Damyean Dotson. @ChrisPatrickJr will still represent Damyean Dotson, but co-rep with Gaston.
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green is close to hiring Rich Paul of Klutch Sports as his basketball representation, league sources told Yahoo Sports. He was previously repped by Wasserman. At the conclusion of this season, the three-time All-Star will have a year remaining on the five-year, $82 million contract he signed in 2015.
Liz Mullen: Atlanta Hawks F John Collins, who will be participating in the Rising Stars & Slam Dunk at NBA All-Star this week, has signed with @excelsm. Agents Sean Kennedy & Jeff Schwartz are representing him. He was formerly represented by CAA Sports.
Ahead of his free agency, Burke switched agents last month from Toronto-based Mike George to Sam Permut of New York-based Roc Nation. “Timing was very, very important for me,” Burke said. “It was already something I was kind of thinking about doing but a lot of people may look at it and think that my past agent Mike George that he wasn’t doing his job but that wasn’t the case at all. “I just believe what I’m looking for in my career and where I’m trying to go, I feel like Roc Nation was a better fit for me, if that makes sense. Obviously being here in New York, Mike being in Toronto, I just felt like it made more sense. It wasn’t an easy decision. I think a lot of people look at it like he fired his agent. That’s one of the hardest things to do especially when you have a good relationship with your agent so I just think it’s the best fit for me and it’s a decision I wanted to make for my career. I knew if I wanted to make it I knew I didn’t want it to prolong throughout the season and be something on my mind. I wanted to get it done right then and there.”
Insiders think that’s what Davis is doing, with the firing of agent Thad Foucher and hiring of Rich Paul, LeBron’s close friend and agent, all about the possibility of going to the Lakers. “Why else did AD do it?” asks an East GM. “Things are going great for him. The team is going good. He got the Derrick Rose extension [a five-year $150 million deal that each team is allowed to offer one player on his rookie contract.] “It’s not because of race. Thad Foucher is an Afro-American. It’s not because of agency. Thad Foucher is from the Wasserman Group and has Russell Westbrook. So why did he do it?”
Liz Mullen: BDA Sports has signed New Orleans Pelicans F Nikola Mirotic, who will be a UFA next summer. NBA agent Bill Duffy repping him. Formerly represented by Dynasty Sports.
The move also stoked paranoia in New Orleans, the city Chris Paul left in his prime shortly after he changed agents. But Davis said the move was aimed primarily at helping him become the “the most dominant player in the league.” “It was just for where I am right now in my career — what I’m trying to do — I thought the change was necessary,” Davis said Monday, when the Pelicans held media day on the eve of training camp. “That’s all it was.”
Theoretically, Davis also could try to parlay his agency switch into a trade aimed at changing the balance of power in the NBA, but whether he does so remains to be seen. “I’m here,” Davis said. “I want to focus on winning this year with the squad that we have. We have a good squad.”
Davis told ESPN on Sunday that he’s hoping to elevate the Pelicans to a new level this season and the agent switch is part of an effort to improve his overall game. “My focus is to win, to come in every day and do all I can go help this organization,” Davis said. “While establishing myself as the best player on the floor every night.”
Chris Haynes: New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis has signed with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group.
Bobby Marks: Klutch Sports now has 20 players on NBA contracts headlined by LeBron James, John Wall, Ben Simmons and now Anthony Davis. The first order of business will be next summer navigating a likely 5 year/$235M extension that will be on the table by the Pelicans.
Darren Heitner: Source tells me that Kyle Kuzma is also considering a switch to agent Rich Paul, who reps the likes of LeBron James & now Anthony Davis.
It’s a fact of life in the NBA. Franchise players are flipped around with astounding frequency, including James and Kevin Durant, who bolted from title-contending teams in free agency within the past three years. But the Pelicans, per a variety of sources, don’t seem particularly concerned about Davis exchanging agents, regardless who he hires. And they shouldn’t be.
Darren Heitner: Anthony Davis’ window where he couldn’t sign with an agent after firing Wasserman is now over. He is free to choose his new reps.
New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis has parted ways with longtime agent Thad Foucher, sources told ESPN. To officially change agents, players are required to file paperwork with the player’s union and then wait 15 days. Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who represents LeBron James among others, is a leading contender to represent Davis, sources said.
Oladipo recently hired a public relations agent. He fired his basketball agent at Creative Artists Agency and hired William Morris Entertainment to boost his profile . “Some things just don’t work out, aren’t necessarily a great fit. I just felt like I needed time off from that aspect of the business,” Oladipo says. “I’ll worry about that stuff later. It’s a sign I’m going in a different direction.”
Jordan Schultz: Source: #Raptors guard Rawle Alkins has signed with Rosenhaus Sports. Alkins totaled 25 points and 11 rebounds — as well as the game-tying layup in regulation and the game-winning 3-pointer in OT —in yesterday’s win over the #Hornets. @RSR_Basketball
Mitchell Robinson is certainly acting the part of an NBA player now. According to league sources, Robinson, the Knicks’ 20-year-old project center who dazzled the Las Vegas summer league, has made an agent change already. Sources indicate Robinson, a Chalmette, La. product, has moved on from agent Raymond Brothers and has inked John Spencer, who also reps Lance Thomas. Spencer is a former Knicks scout under Ernie Grunfeld.
The size of the contract with the two team options is not the reason for the switch. Robinson was selected in the second round at No. 36. According to sources, those closest to Robinson thought he had a better shot at becoming a late first-round pick — with more guaranteed money — if the pre-draft process was conducted smoother and smarter. The day before the Draft Combine, Robinson’s reps decided to pull him out. Robinson, according to sources, believed that was a mistake. “He had trained two months just for the combine and he was ready for it,’’ one source said.
Liz Mullen: Clippers RFA Montrezl Harrell has switched agents, signing with @RosenhausSports NBA agent Bobby Petriella. He was formerly repped by Klutch Sports Group.
Kevin O’Connor: Pacers unrestricted free agent wing Glenn Robinson III has signed with agents Jelani Floyd, Daniel Poneman, Mike Naiditch and EJ Kusnyer, per source. Robinson was previously with CAA before switching to this group of independent agents.
Shams Charania: As free agency approaches, Bulls’ David Nwaba has signed with agent Charles Briscoe. Nwaba is expected to be a potential RFA target for teams after strong season in Chicago.
Guard Nick Calathes, a 6-foot-6 MVP candidate for EuroLeague power Panathinaikos of Athens, plans to rejoin the NBA as a free agent this summer, sources told ESPN. One of the EuroLeague’s finest playmaking guards, Calathes is expected to attract significant NBA interest as a backup point guard in July free agency. Calathes has hired James Dunleavy of ISE to serve as his agent, sources said.
Harden had been represented by Rob Pelinka until Pelinka became the general manager of the Lakers. Harden remained affiliated with Pelinka’s agency, Landmark Sports, but said he is no longer with Landmark. “I wouldn’t call her my agent,” Harden said of his mother’s role. “She’s somebody that helps me, obviously. It’s work, but I would call it her being my mom like any other mom would. It’s life, whether it’s personal problems or business problems.”
A special commission formed by Emmert to review college basketball and its persistent corruption is expected to make recommendations Wednesday that will address the one-and done rule. But it is not expected to change anytime soon, and Bazley is already making plans for a pro career. He has hired an agent: Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, a fellow Ohioan who represents the N.B.A. stars LeBron James, Ben Simmons and J.R. Smith. Paul declined to comment for this story, and Bazley’s mother, Lynnita Bazley, declined to make him available as well.
Kanter, who announced last month that he was hiring Mark Bartelstein as his new agent, has an $18 million player option this summer. It seems likely that Kanter will exercise the option, but opposing executives have come away with the impression that he was leaning toward opting out, presumably to pursue a multi-year contract. The executives referenced above drew those conclusions before Kanter hired Bartelstein, who, along with Mevlut ‘Hilmi’ Cinar, Kanter’s manager, will help guide the 25-year-old through his decision.
Kanter is switching to agent Mark Bartelstein and mulling not picking up next season’s $18.6 million player option, but claims he won’t make a business decision to sit the final four games. “You’re always thinking the business part, but for me basketball comes first,” Kanter said. “We’ve got four games left and the Knicks are still paying me. The Knicks are paying for me to go out there and — if I’m healthy — to go out there to play. So if I feel really good, I’ll go out there and play.
“It’d be really selfish to think about opting in or opting out or thinking about my contract and not playing, giving up on my teammates and my team. It’d be really selfish. For me the Knicks are still paying me, I’m still part of this team. If I’m still healthy I’m just going to go out there and fight.” Kanter is averaging 14.1 points and 11 rebounds on 59.2 percent shooting.
Liz Mullen: Lakers G Isaiah Thomas has returned to Excel Sports Management as a client. Agent Sam Goldfeder is repping him. He had left the agency briefly for Goodwin Sports last fall. SBD Closing Bell: bit.ly/2pYvRot
This doesn’t mean Knicks center Enes Kanter is opting out, but he’s ready to sign with a new agent — the highly regarded Mark Bartelstein, who runs Priority Sports, according to an industry source.
Kanter, who has one year left on his contract worth $18.6 million, said on the West Coast trip recently he was seeking a new agent but won’t evaluate his situation until after the season because it would cheat his teammates. Kanter will still be represented by Maestro Sports for other endeavors, as he’s taking advantage of the New York limelight — recently appearing as a guest on one of his favorite TV shows, “Impractical Jokers.”
Pensack Sports Management Grouphas signed Washington Wizards forward Chris McCullough, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, for representation. NBA agent Adam Pensack will represent McCullough. He was formerly represented by ASM Sports.
CAA Sports has signed Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince for representation in all areas. Prince will be represented by a team of agents led by Dave Spahn and Steven Heumann. He was formerly represented by Impact Sports. Prince was the No. 12 pick in the 2016 NBA draft. He is averaging over 12 points and five rebounds a game and participated in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star this year.
Do you think the team does anything with PJ Dozier after the report that came out? Erik Horne: No. The Thunder and these NBA teams don’t pay the NCAA any mind. Improper benefits have nothing to do with their business once these guys become pros. … Now, will Dozier (and Josh Huestis) change representation in the future? Both are repped by ASM Sports. But I haven’t received any indication yet that Huestis will do so.
Jeff Zillgitt: Spurs guard Danny Green has signed with Roc Nation Sports for his representation. Green has a $10 million player option for 2018-19 season.
Jabari Young: League sources tell @ExpressNews that #Spurs guard Danny Green has left long time agency BDA Sports and hired Roc Nation Sports to represent him #NBA
Jeff Zillgitt: Sixers forward Trevor Booker jas joined Jim Tanner’s Tandem Sports + Entertainment for his representation. Booker is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Jorge Sierra: Wolves guard Tyus Jones is now represented by Kevin Bradbury of BDA Sports, HoopsHype has learned.
Liz Mullen: Grizzlies F Jarell Martin, Pistons F Brice Johnson, & G Markel Brown have all signed with Agent Brian Jungreis of ASM Sports. They had all been previously represented by Andy Miller, ASM Sports founder, who voluntarily relinquished his NBPA certification in December.
Jeff Zillgitt: Derrick Williams, who is playing in China right now, signed with Tandem Sports + Entertainment and agent Jim Tanner for representation.
Jorge Sierra: New Clippers guard Avery Bradley has hired Leon Rose and Andrew Morrison of CAA Sports to represent him on and off the court, HoopsHype has learned.
Michael Scotto: Minnesota Timberwolves guard Shabazz Muhammad has signed with agents Happy Walters and George Langberg of Catalyst Sports. Muhammad has a $1.8 player option for next season.
Pacers rookie Edmond Sumner is now represented by Sean Kennedy of Excel Sports Management, Sumner told VigilantSports.com.
Liz Mullen: Kristaps Porzingis will be repped by his brothers after Andy Miller relinquished his NBPA certification. “Now that Andy does not have his license anymore, not much is changing,” Janis Porzingis told SBJ.
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.”
Michael Scotto: Former Grizzlies guard Xavier Munford has signed with agents Happy Walters and George Langberg of Catalyst Sports. @xaviermunford is averaging 24.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game in the G-League. He’s shooting 54% from the field and 64% from 3PT range.
Liz Mullen: NBPA to NBA players on agent Andy Miller giving up certification: If you currently have a Standard Player Agent Contract (SPAC) with Mr. Miller as the sole Agent on your SPAC, that SPAC is no longer in effect & you are free to sign a new SPAC with any certified NBPA Agent.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBPA sent out a memo to players that ASM Sports president Andy Miller has “relinquished his NBPA agent certification.” He was representing Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Lowry, among dozens of others. He also represented Chauncey Billups and Kevin Garnett in past.
Miller is the president and founder of ASM Sports, and many of his former clients are expected to remain with other agents in the company, sources said. None of the company’s most prominent clients left in the wake of the FBI probe, which included the arrest of an ex-employee, Christian Dawkins, in September.
After two years without an agent, LA Clippers All-Star center DeAndre Jordan has hired new representation with trade discussions and free agency on his immediate horizon, league sources told ESPN. Jordan, 29, has signed with Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, sources said, who will help navigate the processes expected to determine Jordan’s future with the Clippers.
The franchise’s devastating batch of injuries and an 8-14 start to the season has inspired rival teams to start reaching out to the Clippers front office on the availability of Jordan, league sources told ESPN. The hiring of an agent can be a facilitator for teams wondering whether Jordan would have interest in signing with them long term should they trade significant assets to the Clippers to acquire him.
Jeff Zillgitt: Knicks forward Michael Beasley has enlisted Jim Tanner and Derrick Powell of Tandem Sports and Entertainment to represent him.
CAA Sports has signed 76ers G JJ Redick and Rockets F Trevor Ariza, both of whom will be unrestricted free agents next summer, for representation. Redick and Ariza will be represented by a team of agents at CAA Sports, with Aaron Mintz and Steven Heumann leading the team. Redick was formerly represented by Wasserman, while Ariza was formerly with Landmark Sports Group (Liz Mullen, Staff Writer).
Jeff Green: It’s official ✍🏾💎 #RocFam
Brothers also signed Danuel House, a guard/forward, who plays for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League.
He was a guest on your podcast this summer. Are you going to be bringing back the podcast regularly this season. JJ Redick: I’m in a little bit of a transition right now. I switched agencies, so I’m trying to figure out what I can do with the podcast. Again, it goes back to essentialism and time. It’s something that I really enjoy doing and I want to do, but I’m just trying to figure it out.
Joe Vardon: Isaiah Thomas hired Aaron Goodwin as his new agent.
Richaun Holmes, the 76ers third-year center, was non-committal about whether he would continue to be represented by ASM, the agency associated in the federal bribery investigation concerning the NCAA. Former ASM employee Christian Dawkins was among 10 arrested on federal corruption charges.
“I would rather not say anything and I am trying to figure out what is going on,” Holmes said after Friday’s practice when asked if he would continue to be represented by ASM.
It is not yet known what some of Miller’s more high profile clients such as Kyle Lowly, Serge Ibaka and Kristaps Porzingis will do. However, Myles Turner appears to feel comfortable with Miller continuing to represent his interests. “I talk to [Miller] every day. Keeping me updated on everything. Telling me you’re going hear stuff. People are going to want me to go here. People are going to want me to jump ship, but Andy’s my guy, man. I’m not going nowhere,” said Turner.
In the wake of the FBI corruption probe that has shaken the college basketball world this week, multiple clients have severed ties with Andy Miller, one of the NBA’s most prominent agents, and another has filed a $13.5 million arbitration claim, alleging he was defrauded, league sources told ESPN. Los Angeles Clippers center Willie Reed filed the claim in part because of Christian Dawkins, one of the 10 people arrested on federal corruption charges on Tuesday. Dawkins was reportedly terminated by Miller and his company, ASM, in early May following a National Basketball Players Association probe into the unauthorized use of a player’s personal credit card.
Darren Heitner: Confirmed Jaron Blossomgame is no longer represented by Andy Miller
Jeff Goodman: T’Wolves rookie Justin Patton has parted ways with agent Andy Miller, source told ESPN. Miller and Christian Dawkins had recruited Patton.
Darren Heitner: Sources: Several players have already terminated basketball agent Andy Miller
Wiggins no longer has an agent, not after firing one of the league’s most respected ones, Bill Duffy, after he negotiated a five-year extension in which the Wolves gave Wiggins all they could by NBA rules. Wiggins said Friday he’s not certain if he will hire another agent again. Instead, he has a manager, a lawyer and the experience of his parents, both of whom were professional athletes. “It’s not as hard as you think,” Wiggins said. “Me and Bill, we were good. It was nothing against him at all. It was more about a business point of view from my end. I wish him all the best of luck, I wish his agency the best of luck because they did nothing but good on my side.”
The process has been muddled by Wiggins’ decision to part with agent Bill Duffy and BDA Sports in August. Players change agents all of the time, but the fact that this move came with a megadeal on the verge of agreement made it a little unique. The ensuing confusion pushed negotiations back and Duffy is taking steps to ensure he receives a commission on the deal, given his significant role in shaping it. “Me and Bill, we were good. Nothing against him at all,” Wiggins said. “It was more from a business point of view from my end. They did nothing but good by my side. I’ve got nothing but positive words for them. I’m just taking it day by day.”
Howard is considering suing some of his former associates, but he is not ready to divulge names or make public allegations. He is rehiring Aaron Goodwin, his original agent, because he appreciates Goodwin’s blunt honesty in addition to his deft marketing. Goodwin agreed to return after Deebo downsized his unwieldy circle. The revamped crew includes Justin Zormelo, skills coach to John Wall, and Ed Downs, personal trainer for Chris Bosh.
Howard is considering suing some of his former associates, but he is not ready to divulge names or make public allegations. He is rehiring Aaron Goodwin, his original agent, because he appreciates Goodwin’s blunt honesty in addition to his deft marketing. Goodwin agreed to return after Deebo downsized his unwieldy circle. The revamped crew includes Justin Zormelo, skills coach to John Wall, and Ed Downs, personal trainer for Chris Bosh. The first time Downs dug his hands into Howard’s hips, the 265 pounder nearly leaped off the massage table. “He was so tight,” Downs says, “so stiff.” Anyone who watched Howard over the past five years has seen what Downs felt. The prescription, instead of more 100-pound dumbbell presses, was band work and deep-tissue massage, with flexibility and balance training.
Haitian big man Skal Labissiere has decided to change representation. King big man has left ISE Basketball and is now represented by Wasserman, as the agency confirmed to Sportando. Labissiere’s new agents are Thad Foucher and Jason Ranne.
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June 20, 2019 | 7:43 pm EDT Update
NBA Draft: With the 1st pick of the NBA Draft, the @New Orleans Pelicans select @Zionwilliamson! #NBADraft 2019 presented by State Farm