BY JOSH GOLDBERG AND IVAN HUDSON
Top Agencies of the 2020 NBA Draft
- Excel Sports – 8
- CAA – 7, Priority Sports – 7
- Roc Nation – 5, BDA Sports – 5
- Wasserman – 4
- Octagon – 2, Klutch Sports Group – 2, ISE – 2, Dynasty Sports – 2, Pro Talent – 2, Pensack Sports – 2
Agent with most clients selected – Raymond Brothers of Roc Nation with four (LaMelo Ball – No. 3, Precious Achiuwa – No. 20, Immanuel Quickley – No. 25, Jahmi’us Ramsey – No. 43)
Erika Ruiz – Only female agent with a player drafted (co-represents No. 29 pick Malachi Flynn)
Cole Anthony, son of Greg Anthony, Vernon Carey Jr., and Kenyon Martin Jr. are some names of draftees who are sons of former professional sports stars.
The 2020 NBA Draft has concluded and now players will be getting ready for Thanksgiving turkeys with their teammates. Wait, it’s the end of November already? Yes, with the prolonged 2019 season that saw the Lakers crowned as NBA champions in the Orlando bubble just over a month ago, the NBA has fast-tracked getting its delayed 2020 season started.
When the pandemic hit in early March and COVID-19 shut down the March Madness tournament before it ever began, agents were scrambling to sign clients. Then the NBA combine went fully virtual and teams were limited to the amount of in-person workouts they were allowed to conduct with draftees. With a lot of uncertainty going into the draft, it was hard to predict where players would fall. The Minnesota Timberwolves were rumored to be in talks about trading the No. 1 overall pick but ended up staying put and selecting Georgia’s Anthony Edwards. Edwards is represented by Omar Wilkes of Klutch Sports, who recently left Octagon to become the Head of Basketball at Klutch.
Excel Sports Management had themselves a night. The agency led the way with five prospects drafted in the first round-including three lottery picks–and another three drafted in the second round.
Jeff Schwartz of Excel found himself in the top-5 of the Draft again after last year, where his top client Tyler Herro was selected 13th overall (James Wiseman – No. 2 in 2020 and Marvin Bagley III – No. 2 in 2018). Roc Nation’s Raymond Brothers represented No. 3 overall pick LaMelo Ball. This was Brothers’ first draft since joining Roc Nation in October 2019 as Director of Basketball. For the second year in a row, Thad Foucher and Joe Smith of Wasserman represented the No. 4 overall pick — Florida State’s Patrick Williams in 2020 and DeAndre Hunter in 2019. Young Money APAA Sports had its first-ever player picked in the top 5, with the Cavaliers selecting Auburn’s Isaac Okoro.
In his first Draft as President of the New York Knicks, former co-head of the basketball division at CAA Leon Rose made a splash at No. 8 overall selecting Dayton’s Obi Toppin. Toppin is represented by Austin Brown and Mitch Nathan at CAA. Toppin spent the entire summer working out with Rose’s first-ever client, Rick Brunson. Coincidence? Or maybe just a perfect-fit for the reigning Naismith and Wooden Player of the Year.
In the recent days leading up to the 2020 NBA Draft, Jessica Holtz has had her role expanded within CAA, where she will now serve as the contract agent for NBA All-Stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker, becoming the first-ever female agent to represent two max contract players. In this year’s draft, Erika Ruiz of CAA is the only female agent to represent players amongst all the other agents. Ruiz along with Dave Spahn, Aaron Mintz, and Drew Morrison co-represent Malachi Flynn from San Diego State, who was drafted by the Toronto Raptors with the No. 29 overall pick.. CAA finished with seven draft picks, which was tied with Priority Sports for second-most in this year’s draft. In last year’s draft CAA had the most with eight picks as Priority Sports was right behind them with seven draft picks.
Mark Bartelstein and Priority Sports had a successful night, as a majority of their draft picks came in the second round. It was especially good to see Cassius Winston of Michigan State taken in the 2nd round with the No. 53 overall pick to the Washington Wizards (Traded from Oklahoma City Thunder) knowing the adversity he faced this year after the death of his brother.
The 2020 NBA season will tip-off December 22nd and will consist of 72-games for each team. No longer inside the Orlando bubble, many teams will be allowing fans back into the arena very soon.
A full-recap of the draft with each player’s agency is listed below: