Jun 17, 2012; Miam, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the first quarter in game three in the 2012 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
You've probably already heard that LeBron James has amicably parted ways with Creative Artists Agency representative Leon Rose. Childhood friend Rich Paul -- who worked at CAA from 2008 -- will become James' third agent since he entered the NBA in 2003. Paul recently created his own agency named Klutch Sports Management.
Does this mean anything, especially with James' contract having an opt-out in 2014? CAA will continue to collect commission on James' contract until he opts out of it or it expires. The fact that James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were all under the CAA umbrella in 2010 has been widely reported for helping bring the three free agents together.
No matter who represents James, teams will offer him max-level contracts. His agent won't have to do much in terms of negotiating contracts or marketing. Paul is already part of the marketing firm LRMR, which is named after James, him, Maverick Carter and Randy Mims. The results of this agency change are likely minimal.
Klutch Sports Management will be based in Cleveland. Some may speculate that James will opt-out in 2014 to join the Cavaliers, as they did when an indelicate phrasing of comments was blown out of proportion during the 2011-12 season. But this move likely changes nothing. James, Wade and Bosh all have opt-outs in their contracts in 2014, and each now has a championship. With Miami positioned as a contender for the next two years, why would they leave a winning situation? In an ideal world, the three would opt out to all take less money so that the Heat can continue to build around the Big Three. Ray Allen, the Heat's fourth-best player, has his contract expire in 2014 as well. Allen will be 37 then and may decide to retire. The Big Three may decide that it is in their best interest to take less money so Pat Riley can continue to sign complementary pieces.