Tonight, at 9:23 p.m. EST, the Kentucky Wildcats will battle the Kansas Jayhawks in the Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Many of the players involved will be listed on NBA rosters in the very near future. Kentucky’s 6-foot-10 center/power forward Anthony Davis is as good as gone, and predicted by the masses to be the first athlete taken off the board in the 2012 NBA Draft. While Davis is the most intriguing player in tonight’s game, there are many others who could decide to leave their respective schools early, declare for this year’s NBA Draft, and select agents to represent them. Included amongst those who may make the jump are Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, and Kansas’ Thomas Robinson. Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor and Kentucky’s Darius Miller will definitely be selecting their agents in the immediate future; they are seniors and will not be returning to their respective universities.
Who will Tyshawn Taylor, Darius Miller, and the underclassmen early entrants select as their agents?
Three Kentucky players were selected in the 2011 NBA Draft (not including Enes Kanter): Brandon Knight (#8 overall to the Pistons), Josh Harrellson (#45 overall to the Hornets), and DeAndre Liggins (#53 overall to the Magic). Knight selected Arn Tellem (Wasserman Media Group) as his agent. Interestingly, the only two players from the 2011 NBA Draft that I was never able to find agent information about are Harrellson and Liggins (see the full 2011 NBA Draft agent list here). Tellem does not necessarily have a history of representing many former University of Kentucky players, but neither do any other agents. My assumption is that Kentucky’s players will choose different agents. If Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Jones, and Lamb do declare for the NBA Draft (and they do not withdraw their names), I could see agents such as Bill Duffy (BDA Sports), Dan Fegan (Lagardere Unlimited), Leon Rose (Creative Artists Agency), and the aforementioned Arn Tellem putting in strong efforts to represent them. Also, do not count out Mike Higgins (The Higgins Group), who represents former Wildcats Kelenna Azubuike and Nazr Mohammed.
Three Kansas players were selected in the 2011 NBA Draft: Markieff Morris (#13 overall to the Suns), Marcus Morris (#14 overall to the Rockets), and Josh Selby (#49 overall to the Grizzlies). The Morris brothers signed with Tony Dutt in conjunction with a newer company named Rival Sports Group. Selby is represented by Andy Miller (ASM Sports). Many Kansas players have been drafted over the years, and Dutt’s name was not included as any of their agents of record. Is he now a contender for Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor after signing the Morris brothers? Jeff Schwartz and Sam Goldfeder (Excel Sports Management) have historically had a lot of success signing players from Kansas. They represent Mario Chalmers, Paul Pierce, and Cole Aldrich. Do not be surprised if they make a strong push for Robinson and/or Taylor. But Schwartz and Goldfeder are certainly not the only agents with a solid track record for recruiting in Kansas. Check out last year’s Kansas Basketball Agent Selection Scenarios to see some of the other agents who may be in contention to represent Kansas’ stars.