Agents Rumors

Another twist: Goodwin once represented power forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim during his 11-year NBA career—-the same Abdur-Rahim who is now the president of the G League and the moving force behind the new NBA G League Select Team. Coincidence? “That’s not a coincidence. 100 percent not a coincidence. That’s how this works,” NBA agent Happy Walters tells TrueHoop. “Aaron Goodwin hasn’t had a young guy in ages. He doesn’t deal with young guys.”
Answers have not been overly forthcoming. But to that last point, Abdur-Rahim understands the appearance. “It’s all about relationships in our business. Aaron and I have a good relationship that dates back a long time,” Abdur-Rahim says. “But I can say that about a dozen agents that I’ve gotten to know during my time in this game.” At least one other agent is taking it in stride. “Rod and Shareef are good guys and want this to work well and I believe that it will be as good as it can be,” Walters said. “However, there will be some unintended consequences.”
Matt Babcock: Next thing I knew, I was on the phone with Andy Miller, a prominent agent from New York who was the owner and founder of ASM Sports and represented star players Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups, and many others. After one phone call with Andy, he offered me a job with the career path and initial responsibilities that I wanted. He also offered me a little more money than I was making at the time. In a knee-jerk reaction, I agreed to leave Excel Sports, after only a handful of months there, to work directly for Andy Miller at ASM Sports. Over time I realized that leaving Excel Sports was an enormous mistake, for many reasons. I am not one to have many regrets, as I try to use my mistakes as learning experiences so that I can grow and improve. However, I truly regret leaving Sam Goldfeder prematurely. It was probably the biggest mistake I have made in my career. I still keep in touch with Sam and we have a good relationship, but I must admit that I am embarrassed that I bailed on him after everything he and his family had done for me. My immaturity and impatience at that time really hurt me, and it probably set my career back pretty significantly. It took me time to truly absorb the lesson, but I learned that sometimes I need to get out of my own way.
Josh Hairston, who played at Duke from 2010-2014, has joined SAC Sports Representation as he pursues a career as a NBA agent. He started in his new role as a recruiter this past month. SAC Sports Representation is ran by agent Seth Cohen. Last year, Cohen represented Suns first round pick Cameron Johnson. Cohen also used to represent Hairston. Once the agent and now the mentor, Cohen is grooming Hairston to become an agent like himself. Hairston will be sitting for the next NBPA agent exam in January.
Veteran agent Jerome Stanley is joining Independent Sports & Entertainment, where he will co-represent his son, Duke guard Cassius Stanley, for the NBA draft this fall. Jerome Stanley, who ran his own firm and mainly represented NFL players in his career, will co-represent Cassius Stanley with David Bauman, ISE Basketball COO, general counsel of ISE and a veteran NBA player agent.
ISE is also representing Killian Hayes, a France native who plays guard for the Ratiopharm Ulm team in the Basketball Bundesliga league and is a projected lottery pick. Bauman and agent Yann Balikouzou are representing Hayes. The NBA draft will be held Oct. 16, and Cassius Stanley is projected to go anywhere from the middle first round to early second round, based on mock drafts. Bauman thinks Cassius is a first-round pick. “I believe Cassius’ combination of athleticism, dunking ability, basketball IQ and his excellent personality will lead him to become a future NBA All-Star,” Bauman said.

Tracy McGrady, Jermaine O'Neal to start agency

That contact is about to become more frequent. McGrady and O’Neal, who have 13 N.B.A. All-Star appearances between them, said in a phone interview that they plan to open a player representation agency this fall. They will call it Seven1 Sports Group and Entertainment. The name is a mash-up of their jersey numbers from careers that propelled McGrady to induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017 and enabled O’Neal to play for seven teams across 18 seasons and sign player contracts worth more than $150 million. If successful, they would become the most prominent players in N.B.A. history to enter the highly competitive and hard-to-break-into agent business.
McGrady said he would serve as a co-owner and adviser to players and most likely step away from the broadcasting role he has had the past four and a half seasons with ESPN. O’Neal intends to take the National Basketball Players Association test in January to become a registered N.B.A. agent and hold partner status alongside McGrady. “Make no mistake,” O’Neal said, “this is very personal.”
The Knicks are among the teams who have conducted a video interview with prospect Killian Hayes, according to his agent, Yann Balikouzou. Balikouzou said on the Envergure podcast last month that Hayes had talked to dozens of teams. Some of those teams did not have a lottery pick, which is an indication that teams are at least considering trading up in the draft for a player like Hayes.
Storyline: Draft Interviews
While Hayes interviewed with the Knicks, Balikouzou said his client hasn’t spoken to every lottery team. Balikouzou said Hayes would likely speak with Minnesota and Golden State but didn’t plan to do an interview with Cleveland. “It’s not a secret, they probably won’t draft a guard,” Balikouzou, of ISE, said in the interview, which was conducted in French and translated. “….The chances they’d draft a guard are really thin.”
Revenue losses stemming from the COVID-19 crisis and the NBA’s frayed relationship with China could result in a significant reduction in the salary cap. Max contracts are calculated based on the salary cap, so any reduction in the cap would cause a corresponding decline in max contract figures. As a result, the Kings might end up saving money on Fox’s new deal, but league executives and agents say there is too much uncertainty to project how much a cap hit might impact the team’s books or Fox’s future earnings. “It’s just way too premature to predict what’s going to happen,” Priority Sports and Entertainment CEO Mark Bartelstein said. “There’s just so much to play out in the next few months.”
Not only is Howard juggling his responsibilities as a father with preparation for the finale to the season, but as a Black man he has also been deeply affected by the social unrest facing this country, according to Howard’s agent, Charles Briscoe. “Basketball, or entertainment period, isn’t needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction,” Howard said in a statement issued to CNN through Briscoe last month.
According to McAlarney, he’s accepted a job as a player representative for Priority Sports, a prominent agency that has many dealings with the NBA. The West Brighton resident, who’s planning to become a certified agent, will have a plethora of responsibilities in his position, including training pre-NBA draftees, working in the pre-NBA draft program, conferring with college coaches and doing film work. McAlarney’s new job will entail a considerable amount of travel as Priority Sports is based out of Chicago and Sherman Oaks, Calif.
How will you handle privacy concerns? Harpreet Singh Rai: “We’re working with the NBA, NBPA, Excel Sports and CAA to make sure everyone feels comfortable. Think about it — we’re tracking sleep, so a coach could ostensibly see that a player only got two hours of sleep the night before a game and decide not to start him. To ensure that doesn’t happen, most of the data isn’t being shared. The league and union only see something called a Risk Score, which combines heart rate, heart rate variability, temperature and respiratory rate. If the Risk Score is high enough, a team doctor is alerted and can test the player.”
“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.”
Storyline: Agent Changes
Daniel Oturu, a former Cretin-Derham Hall star, will start the interview process with NBA teams next week. Since the spring, Oturu has trained with former AAU teammate and Duke point guard Tre Jones. Oturu and the Jones brothers (also Tyus Jones) are represented by Kevin Bradbury, an agent for BDA Sports. “Every day we’re getting more information on the status of the coronavirus and how it’s impacting people,” Oturu said. “I just have to continue to work and show [teams] who I am as a person and a basketball player.”
Paul will continue to work closely with Klutch’s clients and recruiting efforts in basketball, sources said. The hiring of Wilkes to strengthen Klutch’s basketball division allows Paul more freedom to expand his duties overseeing burgeoning divisions in the NFL and MLB. Wilkes has a significant industry pedigree, including a college basketball career at Kansas and Cal. His father, Jamaal, is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
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.
Storyline: Agent Changes
Bertans’ agent, Arturs Kalnitis, explained why his client chose not to play. “To be completely honest, Davis was prepared to play and then he made a last-minute decision to sit out,” Kalnitis told HoopsHype. “We’re playing the cards that we were dealt. When the NBA announced that players who sit out wouldn’t face consequences and would just lose 1 percent of their salary for each game missed, we sat down to discuss this. Davis is about to sign the biggest deal of his life, so he would be taking a big risk by playing. It wasn’t a tough decision, to be honest. If the Wizards were in the fifth or sixth seed (or maybe even the eighth seed), it would be completely different. Davis is a competitor. But in this situation, he decided to sit out.”
Storyline: Davis Bertans Free Agency
Kalnitis said that the Wizards were very understanding when Bertans informed them of his decision. “Davis and [GM] Tommy Sheppard have been talking on a daily basis,” Kalnitis said. “The Wizards have known about Davis’ decision for a few days, and Davis told his teammates before it was reported too. They have been so supportive. Tommy is the best. I really like his work, and he and Davis have a special connection. I wasn’t there when Davis informed Tommy and the Wizards of his decision, but Davis told me that they had a pleasant conversation and they were very supportive.”
It’s uncertain whether the NBA uses the force majeure provision, as it can under the current terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, to opt out of the current CBA because of the economic impact of the pandemic. Some agents are certain the league will do so. “I’m telling all my clients to opt in,” another agent said. “Although they won’t tear up the CBA if we actually have basketball this summer, they will want to make changes to BRI based on the overall losses.”
“We legitimately have no idea for 2021,” an Eastern Conference team’s cap expert said. “Planning all over the board. 2021 had some uncertainty pre-pandemic with the Morey tweet situation and now we really don’t know. A lot probably depends on when fans are let back into games. I do think that the NBA/NBPA will jointly set the cap the next couple of years and not just rely on the standard method. That should hopefully prevent it from absolutely plummeting. The last official projections from the fall from the NBA were $125M/$151M for Cap/Tax for 2021 (pre-Morey tweet and pre-pandemic). Safe to say teams are planning on it being less now.”
Said a Western Conference GM: “It would be a complete guess honestly. We don’t have any clarity on that yet. So many decisions have to be made on how they navigate the losses the league has had between COVID and the China issue.” As far as the actual cap projections, though, teams are not as worried. The expectation is that the NBA will set the cap at roughly the same level as this year – $109 million, with a tax line of $123 million – and separate it from Basketball Related Income, the mechanism by which the split of money between players and teams is achieved, like the league did coming out of the 2011 lockout, and make up any potential difference that arises by increasing the escrow withholding from players.