Most analysis surrounding sports agents revolve around an agent’s initial signing of an athlete or an athlete firing an agent or an agent negotiating an athlete’s contract. However, less emphasis is placed on the accolades agents’ clients receive during their playing careers. Below highlights the players and coach that won (or will likely win) 2013-2014 regular season NBA awards and their respective agents.
Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant (Thunder) – This award has not been announced, but it is a no-brainer that Durant will receive MVP honors. Kevin Durant is represented by Roc Nation Sports. In 2011-2012 Durant’s former agent, Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports Agency negotiated a 5-year, $89.16 million contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder with an annual average salary of $17,832,627. This year Durant averaged 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. Also, Durant shot nearly 55% from 2-point range.
“I think KD has had one heck of a season,” said LeBron James. “And, you know, if he’s rewarded with the MVP, it would be great. It would be awesome for him, for his family. He’s played MVP-type basketball.
Defensive Player of the Year: Joakim Noah (Bulls): Noah is represented by BDA Sports Management and signed a 5-year $60 million contract in 2010. This year Noah averaged 11.3 rebounds (3.5 offensive), 1.5 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game.
“It’s been really fun for all of his to watch him and his game evolve and grow over the years,” Bulls’ General Manager Gar Forman said. “He’s a competitor. He’s passionate. He’s intelligent and he’s a leader. But along with that, what Joakim probably is the best teammate that I’ve had a chance to witness in the 16 years that I’ve been with the Chicago Bulls.”
Most Improved Player: Goran Dragic (Suns) – Dragic is also represented by BDA Sports Management and signed a 4-year $30 million contract back in 2012-2013. This year Dragic averaged 20.3 points, 5.9 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Most noteworthy was his 50.5 field goal percentage, including nearly 41% from the 3-point line.
“We could tell from watching him be in charge of that team that he’d taken the next step,” stated Suns’ Head Coach, Jeff Hornacek. “That’s the sign of a great player — when they can take their game to the next level. “We use him as the example for all our players, and I think all our players follow him. We know [he'll] get even better.”
Rookie of the Year: Michael Carter-Williams (Sixers) – This award has not been announced,, but most believe that MCW is the top rookie this season. Carter-Williams is represented by Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management and signed a 2 year, $4.50 million contract after being selected 11th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.This season he averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 assists, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game. Additionally, he received rookie of the month honors in November, January, March, and April. Only MCW, Trey Burke (Jazz), Victor Oladipo (Magic) received the honor more than once.
“I’d love to be Rookie of the Year. If I’m not, I’d be a little disappointed. That’s just me being competitive,” said Carter-Williams.
Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich (Spurs) – Popovich led the Spurs to an NBA-best record of 63-20. He has won this award three times (2003, 2013, 2014). Currently, Pop earns a hefty $6 million per year, but he earns his salary based on his 967 – 443 (.685) record over his 18-year coaching career.
Popovich elaborated on the meaning of the award. “When you win an award, it gets down to the players. Players do the work, and players do the winning. They’ve been unbelievable for me, allowed me to coach them for a long time, and without their play, their diligence and their professionalism, I know this wouldn’t happen.”