In giving credit where credit is due, one group that hasn't gotten enough in the Nets off-season success is the collection of agents who helped Billy King and ownership get things done from the hiring of Jason Kidd to getting Kevin Garnett to waive his no-trade clause. It's not something either side wants to talk much about. Agents work best in the backgound, but a number of them helped (and were helped) during the four weeks from Kidd's hiring to the signing of Andrei Kirilenko and Alan Anderson.
By free agency's end, three of NBA's top agencies, Excel Sports Management, ASM Sports and Wasserman Media Group, had ten Nets clients --and their coach-- between them. Here's a summary of who represents who, with notes on how several of them, most prominently Jeff Schwartz and Andy Miller, became big players in the Nets off-season,
Jeff Schwartz, Excel Sports Management
Notes: The Nets have a great relationship with Jeff Schwartz who represents four Nets as well as their 2012 second round pick, Ilkan Karaman (through his European partner). Of course, Schwartz also reps Jason Kidd. Among his other clients: Devin Harris, Blake Griffin, Tyson Chandler and Lamar Odom. The Nets credit Schwartz with helping them re-sign Williams, shepherding Kidd's coaching candidacy and convincing Pierce to agree to the trade. It was Schwartz, in fact, who first broached the head coaching idea to both Kidd and the Nets ownership.
Arn Tellem, Wasserman Media Group.
--Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Jason Terry
Notes: Bob Myers was Brook and Robin's agent then joined the Warriors' front office. Wasserman and Excel are the two biggest NBA agencies. The agency also represents the Collins twins. Tellem's son, Matt, works in the Nets' front office.
Notes: Miller is one of the most respected sports agents in the US. His role in getting Garnett to agreed to waive his no-trade clause is one of the more underappreciated aspects of the Nets off-season. Deron Williams and Jason Kidd may have texted Garnett, but it was Miller who negotiated with the Nets on getting his final year fully guaranteed. He once worked for the Nets in the their press office. His two clients make less than $3 million combined from the Nets, making them a bargain. KG of course makes $12.4 million.
Marc Fleisher, Entersport Management
Notes: Fleisher reps a number of the NBA's international players. Like Schwartz and Miller, his role was critical in making the Nets off-season successful, blessing the final deal between the two sides. Kirilenko is his biggest client by far. Also reps Aron Baynes of the Spurs.
Mark Bartelstein Priority Sports
Notes: Bartelstein, one of the NBA's biggest agents, hasn't repped any Nets for a few years. He pushed hard for the Nets to sign Anderson to a two-year vets minimum deal, with a player option in the second year, an ideal arrangement for a journeyman. He also represents David Lee, Taj Gibson and Mason's brother, Miles Plumlee.
Henry Thomas, CAA Sports
Guy Zucker, Zucker International
Notes: Zucker convinced the Nets to let Shengelia play in the Orlando Summer League in 2012 which led to his signing a two-year deal with the Nets. He has two other NBA clients, Thabo Sefolosha and Marcin Gortat, and a host of Euroleague players.
Marc Cornstein, Pinnacle Hoops.
Notes: Cornstein had previously represented Nenad Krstic, Zoran Planinic, Mile Ilic and Boki Nachbar when they played for the Nets. Bogdanovic joins a long line of players from the former Yugoslavia who have trusted Cornstein.