College Basketball Players Headline Recruiting Sports Agents

Recruiting For the 2011 NBA Draft Is Heating Up

As each NCAA Tournament, NIT Tournament, Tournament, and CBI Tournament team gets knocked out of their respective tournaments, more and more college basketball players will make a decision regarding whether they will leave school for the professional ranks prior to the exhaustion of their student-athlete eligibility.  At the same time, those early entries along with college seniors will begin to select their agents.

Basketball agents have been on the grounds of several universities for quite some time, and may have even been recruiting certain players well before they entered their current institutions of higher education.  Lately, we have been running a feature titled, Agent Selection Scenarios, where we look at schools who have made it to the NCAA Tournament, their former players who have professional experience, the agents they chose to represent them in contractual relations, and current players at the school who may be drafted in 2011.  Sometimes we make a prediction as to the agents that the players might be considering.

One agent who has success year after year is Bill Duffy of BDA Sports.  I have heard of a few players that BDA Sports has been focusing on in the 2011 Draft, putting great emphasis on recruiting these gentlemen.  Names like Klay Thompson of Washington State, Nikola Vucevic of Southern California, and JaJuan Johnson of Purdue are prospects that I hear are at the top of the radar.  But I am also hearing that BDA Sports is in the mix for BYU standout Jimmer Fredette, Georgia’s Trey Thompkins, and is also in the races to represent Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris from Kansas.  Rumors have also surfaced that BDA Sports is seeking (and may be in the lead) to represent future lottery pick, Derrick Williams of Arizona, but that Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports Agency and Bob Myers of Wasserman Media Group are competitors.

Bill Duffy has proven his capacity to be an excellent negotiator for his clients over the years.  However, last year Duffy only represented one player who was picked in the first round of the Draft.  That would be a major win for most agents, but certainly was not the norm for Duffy, who represented 6 first rounders in 2009, including the #2 overall pick, Hasheem Thabeet.  Did the OJ Mayo scandal have anything to do with that?  Will his 2011 Draft class look more like his 2010 class or his killer 2009 class?

Looking at the partial list above, Duffy casts his recruiting net far and wide.  The only concern is that it gets difficult when one has to manage so many talented players at the same time.  I suppose it is a good problem to have, but if Duffy already has Klay Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, and JaJuan Johnson “locked up”, will his company also have the time to represent all of the other talented players listed above?

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.