After years of being a critical player in the Nets personnel picture, it looked like Jeff Schwartz's Excel Management Group would no longer be as powerful. His two big clients on the Nets last season, Deron Williams and Mirza Teletovic, had moved on. He had helped D-Will both get a big buyout from the Nets and a new home in Dallas. He also got the Nets to drop their qualifying offer for Teletovic, facilitating his departure for Phoenix.
That's what agents do and what Schwartz has done very well, getting his clients in --and out of-- situations. Now, once again, he reps the Nets' highest paid player, as he has off and on for nearly a decade. As NetsDaily first reported, Joe Johnson has switched agents, joining Schwartz's Excel Management.
Schwartz is back, his clients earning a total of $32 million, more than any other agent. He may not be someone who some could jokingly refer to the Nets "vice president for basketball operations" --two years ago, he repped five players as well as Jason Kidd.! Still, he holds some key cards.
Wasserman Media Group, built by Arn Tellem, lost Johnson. Once Tellem left Wasserman to become vice-chairman of the Pistons, Johnson didn't have the personal connection he once had. Wasserman reps two players, both starters. ASM, Andy Miller's firm, has three players, all among the team's youngest.
Here's the current agent breakdown, company by company...
Excel Management Group - Jarrett Jack, Joe Johnson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Not as powerful as it once was. the Jeff Schwartz-led agency is still important to the Nets. Schwartz at one point repped five Nets players as well as their 2012 second round pick, Ilkan Karaman (through his European partner) and Kidd. A lunch between Schwartz and Billy King this June was the first step in Deron Williams buyout. Schwartz has represented every starting Nets point guard going back to Kidd!
Wasserman Media Group -- Brook Lopez, Bojan Bogdanovic
Formerly headed by Arn Tellem, who now runs the Pistons business operations, Wasserman is the biggest and most powerful agency in the NBA. Wasserman picked up Bogdanovic, who had been represented by Marc Cornstein, in the summer of 2014 and was instrumental in finally getting the Croatian star signed in Brooklyn. But Johnson is the agency's second big loss; the first being LaMarcus Aldridge.
ASM Sports -- Markel Brown, Chris McCullough and Sergey Karasev
Andy Miller, who runs ASM, was once a Nets media intern before he struck out on his own. He's represented Kevin Garnett, Reggie Evans, Andray Blatche and Marquis Teague in the past. Now, he has a big part of the Nets youth movement. Miller was critical in getting KG to waive his no-trade clause both in 2013 and 2015, facilitating the Hall of Famer's arrival and departure from Booklyn.
Tanner Sports -- Thaddeus Young, Wayne Ellington
Tanner has one big client, Tim Duncan, and a number of other big names like Jeremy Lin, Ray Allen, Zaza Pachulia and Brandan Wright.
Relativity Sports -- Shane Larkin
Happy Walters firm had a busy summer, representing a number of big names who changed addresses including Amare Stoudemire and Ty Lawson, plus one who didn't, DeAndre Jordan.
Creative Artists Agency -- Andrea Bargnani
Leon Rose has repped a number of big names over the years, including LeBron James and Allen Iverson as well as Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, both of whom are still with him. He did well in the Draft, repping Karl-Anthony Towns, the overall No. 1 pick.
BDA Sports -- Thomas Robinson
Kevin Bradbury reps T-Rob. Bill Duffy's firm is one of the NBA's biggest, with Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Joakim Noah among his biggest names.
Allegiant Athletic Agency -- Quincy Miller
Jared Karnes has a small list of clients, the best known of which is Michael Beasley.
Goodwin Management Group -- Ryan Boatright
A small firm with two big clients, Damian Lillard and DeMar DeRozan. The firm's Noah Croom reps Boatright.
Bell Management Group -- Willie Reed
Joel Bell has a lot of clients who move between the D-League and international leagues. He helped get Reed a tryout last year and a substantial guarantee this year. He also reps Steve Blake who was a Net for about a month.
Priority Sports -- Dahntay Jones
Mark Bartelstein is one of the NBA's most popular agents, with a lot of mid-level talent. His biggest star? Bradley Beal. Last year, he repped Mason Plumlee and this summer helped steer Cliff Alexander first to the Nets, then the Trail Blazers.
Xpheres, a Spanish agency that reps Nikola Mirotic, reportedly has Nets second rounder Juan Pablo Vaulet as its client.
Most of the Nets coaching staff -- Lionel Hollins, Paul Westphal, Jay Humphries and Joe Wolf -- are all represented by Steve Kauffman of Kauffman Sports Management Group. Only Tony Brown, Jim Sann and newly appointed Steve Jones are not listed as Kauffman clients.