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Agent Selection Scenarios: Duke Basketball

Duke is always a lock to make the NCAA Tournament and usually a good team to pick making the Final Four in your office pool.  The school also churns out plenty of talented players who have long, successful careers in the NBA.  Here are some names of Duke alumni who have played professionally, along with their agents of record.

  • Grant Hill – James Tanner (Williams & Connolly)
  • Christian Laettner – Lon Babby (Williams & Connolly). Babby is now the President of Basketball Operations for the Phoenix Suns.
  • Elton Brand – David Falk (FAME)
  • Shane Battier – James Tanner (Williams & Connolly)
  • Carlos Boozer – Rob Pelinka (Landmark Sports Agency)
  • Chris Duhon – Kevin Bradbury (BDA Sports)
  • Mike Dunleavy – Arn Tellem (Wasserman Media Group)
  • Dahntay Jones – Aaron Mintz (Priority Sports)
  • Daniel Ewing – Thad Foucher (Wasserman Media Group)
  • J.J. Redick – Arn Tellem (Wasserman Media Group)
  • Shelden Williams – Arn Tellem (Wasserman Media Group)
  • Corey Maggette – Rob Pelinka (Landmark Sports Agency)
  • Luol Deng – Jason Levien (LSR). Levien became general counsel and assistant GM of the Sacramento Kings and it is likely that Deng has either hired a new agent or is still in the market for one.
  • Josh McRoberts – Bob Myers (Wasserman Media Group)

This year, the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft could be coming out of Duke.  Kyrie Irving is projected to be one of the top picks in the Draft.  The talented freshman suffered a toe injury that has kept him out of much of this season.  Other Blue Devils expected to be selected are seniors Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler.  It is assumed that Smith will go ahead of Singler.  If Mason Plumlee decides to leave early, he could be a first rounder.

Looking at the list of Duke players along with their agents, Wasserman Media Group stands out from the pack.  Tellem, Myers, and Foucher do work!  And they also have B.J. Armstrong to assist in recruiting.  If you are not one of the big name agencies, it is doubtful that you have a shot securing a top Blue Devil.  Good luck competing against WMG, BDA, Landmark, FAME, Priority Sports, and Williams & Connolly (who takes more of a “lawyer approach” and charges by the hour up to a certain percentage of the player’s contract).

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.

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