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Volume 26 No. 47

Labor and Agents

Some expect Williamson to be the most marketable NBA rookie since LeBron James
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

CAA Sports has signed Zion Williamson, the likely top pick in next month's NBA Draft, for representation, with the agency's Austin Brown and Lisa Joseph-Metelus serving as his primary agents, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Brown "represents several NBA players," including Jazz G Donovan Mitchell and restricted free agent G D'Angelo Russell, while Joseph-Metelus "worked very closely with Dwyane Wade throughout his career, especially with his off-the-court endeavors." Wojnarowski noted Williamson is "going to be one of the most marketable players ... who's come into the league since LeBron James" and added CAA landing Williamson is "like a moon landing." ESPN's Jay Williams notes CAA came "out of nowhere" to sign Williamson, as people "didn't even know they were involved" in the negotiations. He pointed out Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports reportedly "sent a private plane" for Williamson to his South Carolina home that he "chose not to be on." The move to sign with CAA comes less than a month before the Draft, and ESPN's Richard Jefferson said, "He's going his own direction and doing things differently. He didn't sign with an agent right away. ... Him taking his time and doing things the right way, this is a sign of an individual and a group that is doing things properly" ("Get Up," ESPN, 5/30).

SHOE ME THE WAY: In New Orleans, Nathan Brown notes CAA last summer helped 76ers C Joel Embiid "land the largest-ever footwear and apparel deal for a center in league history" with Under Armour, while helping Wade "pick up a lifetime partnership with Chinese footwear and sports apparel brand Li-Ning." Williamson is likely to sign a shoe deal before his rookie season that is "projected to make major headlines" (THEADVOCATE.com, 5/30). BLEACHER REPORT's Mike Chiari notes CAA "stands to gain a lot monetarily and in terms of prestige by signing Williamson" (BLEACHERREPORT.com, 5/30).