The day the Nets signed Sean May to a non-guaranteed one-year contract, Dave D'Alessandro wrote that May's chances of making the team were small, but added, "the Nets probably figured this was Be Good to Arn Tellem week."
And it's smart to "be good to Arn Tellem", one of the NBA's leading agents. He and his agency represent four Nets: Brook Lopez, Jordan Farmar, Brian Zoubek and May, more than any other.
The off-season in fact has seen not just a shift in players but in agents. Last year, at one point or another, Dan Fegan's agency repped six Nets: Kris Humphries, Courtney Lee, Yi Jianlian, Jarvis Hayes, Eduardo Najera and Rafer Alston. There was some grumbling in the front office that Kiki Vandeweghe was too close to Fegan and Al Iannazzone once blogged that the Nets had to take two Fegan clients, Hayes and Najera, in a package deal. Fegan is still the biggest agent in terms of money. He and his firm, Lagardere Limited, represent Troy Murphy ($12 million); Humphries ($3.2 million) and Quinton Ross ($1.1 million). Of course, that will change again. The three are the Nets expiring contracts.
Such is the power of agents. It goes beyond negotiating contracts. Among a lot of other things, they can be--and often are--the catalyst in trade discussions, particularly if a client is unhappy or a team is having difficulty moving him. They will lobby for playing time and other non-contractual items, like specialized training. And they are conduits to all sorts of information, a/k/a gossip.
Here's a list of who's representing the Nets this season, broken down by agency, according to Hoopshype's agent lists. If it needs updating, you can be sure we will hear from their agents.
Arn Tellem and Bob Myers, Wasserman Media Group.
--Jordan Farmar, Brook Lopez, Sean May, Brian Zoubek
Notes: Myers is Brook...and Robin's agent. Wasserman is the biggest NBA agency, with more than $200 million in contracts this season. The agency also represents the Collins twins.
Dan Fegan, Byron Irvin, and Bill Strickland, Lagardere Unlimited
--Troy Murphy, Kris Humphries, Quinton Ross
Notes: Fegan reps Murphy, Irvin Humphries and Strickland Ross. Fegan still represents Hayes, whose Bird Rights the Nets are holding on to. He also represents Ricky Rubio.
Wallace Prather, Perennial Sports and Entertainment
--Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow
Notes: Favors and Morrow represent half Prather's client list. Prather's late father discovered Favors as a seventh-grader on an Atlanta playground.
Bill Duffy and Ugo Udezue, BDA Sports Management
--Travis Outlaw, Ben Uzoh
Notes: Duffy represents Outlaw; Udezue, Uzoh. The agency reps three of the NBA's top point guards: Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, and Brandon Jennings.
Henry Thomas, Creative Artists Agency
Notes: the stars' agency, CAA represents LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Tony Parker, Chris Paul and of course Harris.
Mark Bartelstein, Priority Sports & Entertainment
Notes: Last year, Bartelstein counted Net players Bobby Simmons, Trenton Hassell and Chris Quinn among his clients.
Aaron Goodwin, Goodwin Management Group
Notes: Seattle ballers apply here: In addition to TWill, Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford get representation. Kevin Durant's agency.
Sam Goldfeder, Excel Sports Management
Notes: Excel's Jeff Schwartz is Jason Kidd's agent and pushed the 2008 trade to Dallas. Goldfeder has clients from France (Petro), Italy (Marco Belinelli), Brazil (Leandro Barbosa) and Cameroon (Luc Mbah a Moute).