Tag: CAA

Deron Williams

Deron Williams will switch agents to Leon Rose, CAA


Deron Williams is switching agents — we told you that yesterday — but where he has landed may be very good for the New Jersey Nets.

Williams is switching to Leon Rose, part of the powerhouse Creative Artists Agency (CAA) that represents LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and a host of other big-name stars who either have recently joined superstar teams or seems like they might. The news comes via the Salt Lake Tribune (in the city where Williams used to play up until the trade deadline).

Why the move?

Williams is expected to sign with Rose, the source said, with the hope that Rose’s star power will help bring top-tier talent to Brooklyn, which is where the Nets are expected to move for the 2012-13 season.

The only way that backfires is if Williams leaves to join up with other superstars in another city (Williams has a player option and can become a free agent in the summer of 2012). But the lure of Brooklyn and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov may well make that a gathering spot, plus they have a lot of cap room.

Part of the reason Utah moved Williams in a surprising move at the trade deadline was the feeling they could not keep him past the summer of 2012. That he would do things like switch agents to one that has recruiting power and to a bit city with other superstars.

Carmelo Anthony renews push for trade to New York or Chicago; Denver in no rush


Thumbnail image for anthony_high5.jpgIf you’re wondering why so many — and at times conflicting — rumors are coming out about the Carmelo Anthony trade situation in the last few days, here’s your answer.

Anthony and his CAA team (led by agent Leon Rose) have stepped up to pressure a move before training camp starts, according to ESPN. And the two teams on the top of his list are the Knicks and the Bulls.

None of that is new, this is just a renewed effort to get things done now.

Denver, however, remains in no rush. There are some within the organization that want to make one more push to keep him, to their mind having him around his teammates and the city (and George Karl) gives them one more real chance. The Nuggets three-year, $65 million contract extension offer is still on the table.

In addition, bringing Anthony to camp will make him look like the bad guy, make him the focus of frustrated fans and not the organization. Anthony would like to avoid that, the Nuggets have no such interest.

What’s more, being patent right now might put pressure on teams interested in Anthony to up what they are offering. Denver wants young players and picks to speed along any rebuilding process they would have to start by moving Anthony.

Four teams seem to really be in play — Chicago and New York on Melo’s end, with Houston and New Jersey in the mix as well.

As for when something might go down, don’t expect Denver to be swayed much by the latest pressure.  

The Tom Thibodeau-LeBron James via William Wesley corrolary


The Bulls’ hiring of Tom Thibodeau is in and of itself a great maneuver. Thibodeau, long considered a defensive guru and a major component of the Celtics’ ridiculous defense the last two years. He’s widely respected and was considered an obvious choice (seriously, the Bulls could ink LeBron on the first day of free agency and still find a way to look bad doing it).

But there is another element, and it’s one that bears discussion. Thibodeau recently signed with CAA member (I know, you’ll never believe it) William Wesley. Man, who didn’t see that coming. And as Adrian Wojnarowski outlines in his Yahoo! report this morning, it’s that move that prompted the Bulls to move a little switfter in swooping up Thibs, on account of Wesley’s relationship with James.

The Bulls’ candidacy as a suitor for James began as a trickle, then turned into stream, then became a river, and now it is the broken dam, water rushing down the valley sweeping away homes, livestock, and the occasional 7-11. It reeks of a massive plan, instituted by a team that hasn’t exactly shown a “mastermind” element over the last few years.

What’s more confusing is Wesley’s role in all of this. Wesley’s phenomenally powerful, there’s no doubt about that. But his specific role within the James camp is the subject of conflicting reports. There is a definitive sense that Wesley’s in the room, but the question is whether he’s a vocal participant, or a wallflower. The wallflower idea was growing steam, but then one of his client coaches was hired by a major suitor, one that Woj claims is now in the lead.

But riddle me this.We know the top free agents have been discussing the highs and lows of this whole process for a while. We know CAA is involved in this process. And we know Wesley just recently began formally representing coaches for CAA.

So what happens if the Bulls’ maneuvering sets off an arms escalation and the Nets respond with hiring John Calipari, another Wesley buddy. The ramifications of this kind of approach could develop a power base for CAA and Wesley for years, across multiple teams.

I know, I know, massive speculation is no one’s friend. I’m with you on that. My point is more that it cannot be understated the ridiculous levels the James pursuit has reached. Thibodeau was hired for many legitimate reasons and should make a great head coach.

But having friends of friends never hurt either.

William Wesley is everywhere, now represents Tom Thibodeau

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Thibodeau.jpgWilliam Wesley is everywhere. Most recently, he’s been the guy linked to trying to push LeBron James and John Calipari as a package. Although his employer — CAA — also represents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, so there are all sorts of connections.

And now you can add Tom Thibodeau to the list.

Brian Windhorst tweeted that Wesley now represents Thibodeau. All that really means is Thibodeau — who is expected to be offered the New Orleans Hornets job —  is connected now. Not that he wasn’t before, but this is a different level.

What this really means is that wherever Thibodeau lands, if they can afford to bring in free agents in the next couple of years, there are connections. The back-channel connections that get things done in the NBA, and David Stern can’t fine. Wesley is a good man to have in your corner that way.

But what Thibodeau does with his chance as a head coach still ultimately falls on Thibodeau.

John Wall, Evan Turner show everyone doesn't want to be like LeBron

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In the 1990s, Michael Jordan ruled on the court, his agent David Falk ruled off it.

Falk had around 40 clients and those included most of the big names of the decade, guys like Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning. He bullied around the Players Association in the 1995 lockout, and was involved behind the scenes in the 1998 lockout negotiations. He was consistently ranked as the second most powerful man in the NBA, behind David Stern.

Other players wanted to be like Mike, and that meant it was good to be MJ’s agent.

Not so much with LeBron.

Recently soon-to-be top pick John Wall signed with BEST. Soon-to-be number two pick Evan Turner just signed up with Falk. Wall also said he is not going with LeBron’s marketing team. CBS’s Ken Berger suggests this means today’s players are trying to carve their own niche.

By spurning CAA, Wall became the third straight (Kentucky coach John) Calipari guard to break away from the agency that everyone assumed he would join. Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans both played for Calipari at Memphis, and both signed with Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group…

The best player available in the draft since LeBron himself will enter the NBA with a clean slate, and with no entanglements beyond those already entrenched within his inner circle of close advisors. In effect, Wall won’t be riding LeBron’s – or anyone else’s – coattails.

Let’s not shed a tear for CAA, they still own most of the world. But players today are more media and marketing savvy than generations before. They understand the value of carving out your own unique place in the market. They understand not wanting to be caught in the shadow of the game’s biggest star.

Be like LeBron? Not so much.