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Volume 22 No. 12

Labor and Agents

Veteran NBA agent Calvin Andrews has left BDA Sports Management after more than 15 years to form his own company, Serving Athletes with Integrity.


SAI will count Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie guard Josh Okogie, the No. 20 overall pick in this past June’s NBA draft, as its first clients, Andrews said.


Andrews’ move to start his own firm has been rumored in basketball circles for a while but was made official after BDA Sports negotiated Gordon’s four-year, $84 million extension with the Magic this summer. Andrews and BDA Sports founder Bill Duffy negotiated the restricted free-agent extension for Gordon, who was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.


Andrews has known Duffy since he played forward at Montana State University in the late 1980s. The split was amicable and the two remain friends, they both said last week. Andrews said there was nothing negative that spurred the move but rather an interest in owning his own firm. He said Duffy was initially surprised but supportive.


“I was just like, ‘Bill, I am at a point in my career where I want to do something to re-energize myself,’” Andrews said. “He was cool. He said, ‘I get it. Do it.’”


Duffy said, “Calvin has been in the business a long time and I also consider him a personal friend. I hope that he is successful.”


BDA is based in Walnut Creek, Calif., and SAI also will be based in Northern California, Andrews said.


Longtime NBA agent Calvin Andrews (left), with client Aaron Gordon, has left BDA Sports Management and founder Bill Duffy.
Photo: Erick Hercules

Andrews, who started his career as an agent at BDA in 2002, said he is looking to build a boutique agency. “I don’t need 100 clients,” he said. He wants to partner with other agencies on representation and other endeavors in his new firm, and SAI will be partnering with WME on Gordon’s marketing in the future, he added.


BDA SIGNS MIROTIC: BDA Sports has signed New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019. He was formerly represented by Dynasty Sports Group. Duffy is representing Mirotic, who was the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft.


BDA represented four first-round picks in the 2018 NBA draft — No. 1 Deandre Ayton, No. 3 Luka Doncic, No. 27 Robert Williams and No. 30 Omari Spellman.


LAGARDÈRE INKS WINSTON, ROBY: Lagardère Sports has signed Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston and Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby for representation. NFL agent Joel Segal is leading the team representing Winston, and Chafie Fields is representing Roby.


Winston previously was represented by TLA Worldwide. Roby previously was represented by Element Sports Group.


Winston was the first pick of the 2015 NFL draft and will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season, if he is not franchise tagged. Roby was the No. 31 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft and will an unrestricted free agent this offseason, if he is not tagged.


Fields thinks there will be a lot of interest in Roby. “He’s the best corner in a secondary that as recently as last season was considered the best in the league,” he said.


Fields said the cornerback position is becoming increasingly valuable to clubs. “It’s not easy to come by a good corner,” he said. “And the ones who can play? There’s a premium on them.”


Fields is a former wide receiver who was a standout at Penn State, where he was an NFL prospect before sustaining an injury during his senior year. After going undrafted, Fields signed with the 49ers, Broncos and Jets between 2000 and 2002 before retiring as a player and working as an agent with Segal, who represented him during his playing days.


Fields said he uses his experience as a player now that he works for players. “You have to have somebody in your corner who is willing to tell you what you don’t want to hear,” he said.


CAA SIGNS FEMALE ANALYSTS: Creative Artists Agency has signed ESPN anchor Dianna Russini, WWE analyst Renee Young and YES Network/Fox Sports NBA analyst Sarah Kustok.


At CAA, teams of agents represent the clients. Matt Olson is the lead agent for Russini, David Koonin is point on Young, and Kustok’s representation is being led by Josh Santry. All three clients were formerly represented by ICM Partners.

By signing Kustok, CAA now represents three women NBA analysts. The agency also represents Wizards analyst Kara Lawson at ESPN and Doris Burke, national analyst for NBA games on ESPN and ABC.


ICM SIGNS BROADCASTERS: ICM Partners has signed several clients for broadcasting including Amber Theoharis, host of the NFL Network’s “NFL Mic’d Up” and “21st & Prime.”


ICM also has signed NFL analyst and former New York Giants offensive lineman David Diehl and UFC bantamweight fighter and recently turned UFC broadcast analyst Dominick Cruz. Agent Kristin Bredes LaFemina is representing the new clients.


Diehl and The Montag Group parted ways this summer. Theoharis was previously represented by WME. Cruz was not previously represented for broadcasting.

Liz Mullen can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.