Jeff Schwartz Early Favorite To Represent Austin Rivers And Tyler Zeller
On Saturday, Duke and UNC met at Cameron Indoor Stadium to play in what ended up being a lopsided game with UNC earning an easy victory over the Blue Devils. While the game itself was not highly enjoyable to watch, it was fun to observe many future NBA players on the court at the same time. Two of those players are undoubtedly Austin Rivers and Tyler Zeller.
Rivers' father, Glenn Anton "Doc" Rivers is a former NBA player and the current head coach of the Boston Celtics. In his playing days, Doc Rivers was represented by Steve Kauffman of Kauffman Sports Management Group (KSMG). Doc Rivers still uses Steve's brother, Larry, to do his tax work. Even though Steve Kauffman has a solid relationship with Doc Rivers, the NBPA prohibits agents from representing both NBA coaches and NBA players (as discussed earlier today). Thus, Kauffman does not have the opportunity to represent Austin Rivers.
It seems as though the front runner to represent both Rivers and Zeller is Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management. Schwartz likely has a good relationship with Doc Rivers based on Schwartz's representation of Paul Pierce (a member of Doc's Celtics team), but more importantly, Austin Rivers' brother, Jeramiah Rivers is an Excel Sports Management client.
Not only is Austin Rivers' brother an Excel client, but so is Tyler Zeller's elder brother, Luke. Both brothers have played overseas, and Excel's commission on the contracts is likely nothing to scoff at. However, it would be naive to think that Schwartz was not at least thinking about the prospect of signing Austin Rivers and Tyler Zeller when his company signed their older brothers. Jeremiah Rivers is currently playing for KK Mega Vizura in Serbia. Luke Zeller is currently playing for the Shiga Lakestars in Japan.