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Agent Injured

Agent Zero

About a year ago, I gave my opinion that no matter how business-savvy Gilbert Arenas may be, he was making a mistake by engaging in self-representation. Now Nate Jones of Jones On The NBA agrees that Arenas should hire an agent.

Gilbert’s second injury and the evolution of the games of Brendan Haywood and Caron “Tough Juice” Butler has enabled Washington to play around the same level as they were playing with a healthy Gilbert last year (and keep in mind they would probably have an even better record if Caron didn’t miss over a month with his own injury problems). Washington now has the negotiating power. Gilbert has gone through two knee surgeries and his team has learned to play with out him. As well, teams around the league don’t have cap space to compete with Washington and create a bidding war for Gilbert’s services. The only team with cap space that would kind of be an appealing destination for Gilbert is Philadelphia. So if Washington tries to play hardball with Gilbert, and Gilbert doesn’t want to go play in Philadelphia (or Memphis…I don’t see them as an option, that’s why they are locked in this here parenthetical), Gilbert is going to have to seek on a sign and trade with another team. For someone that doesn’t really have negotiating experience, trying to negotiate a sign and trade or even negotiate with a team that thinks they hold all the cards can be a difficult task.


By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

2 replies on “Agent Injured”

Most critics of Agent 0 believe that it would be his cocksure attitude that would be his downfall. I have not given up on Gilbert, especially with his history of surprising critics (and making them eat their words). Athlete representation is no easy task but I am sure Gilbert has been studying and preparing for issues such as contract negotiating. I wonder who is advisers are.

As a mediator (one who guides negotiations), I can say that two of the most important things in negotiating is knowing what you want as an outcome (your goal) and being prepared to negotiate. I don’t know Mr. Arenas very well or his level of negotiation experience. It would seem to me that this type of negotiation will be difficult as there are moving targets (other players being signed into the slots that you may fit into, sign and trades that have near limitless combinations).

So, will Arenas go solely for the money or a chance to win (or some sort of combination)? What is important to him?

Will he or his advisors do a salary cap analysis? Will they do an analysis of what his comparable worth is? Will they identify target teams (or player trades)? Will they wait for the phone to ring or aggressively seek out suitors?

I understand most self-represented players usually have attorneys who help them with some of these negotiating issues. Attorneys range from good to bad. Let’s hope for his sake he makes the right decisions.

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