Spurs marquee free agent signee LaMarcus Aldridge has departed the Wasserman Media Group to join Excel Sports Management, while the recently traded Marcus Morris has left the Creative Artists Agency, reports international journalist David Pick (Twitter links). Aldridge had previously been with Arn Tellem, who’s leaving for a job with the Pistons organization, though RealGM lists his most recent primary agent with Wasserman as having been Michael Tellem, Arn’s son. Morris, who’s been a client of Leon Rose, has expressed displeasure with swap that sent him to Detroit and separated him from twin brother Markieff Morris, who’s demanded that the Suns trade him, too. Coincidentally, the Suns made the trade in an effort to clear cap room for Aldridge, who strongly considered signing with Phoenix before choosing San Antonio instead.
Aldridge signed a maximum-salary deal with the Spurs last month after dogged pursuit from the Suns and several other teams. He was the most high-profile free agent to change teams last summer and had the power to essentially dictate his own terms and location. The 30-year-old would seemingly have little reason for discontent with Wasserman, so I’d speculate that the move is tied to Arn Tellem’s departure. Aldridge won’t be able to elect free agency again until 2018, when he can turn down a player option, so his new relationship with Excel will probably focus on business ventures outside of basketball for the time being.
Marcus Morris has little to negotiate contractually either, having signed a four-year, $20MM extension last fall that kicks in for the coming season. It’s unclear who his next representative will be, but he could seek out agents who would pressure the Pistons to engineer a deal that would reunite him with his brother, though that would be a difficult pursuit. Marcus indicated that he believes he took less than he was worth on his extension, so that may also be a factor in his decision to change agents. It’s unclear whether Markieff, a fellow Rose client, will follow suit. It’s been a mixed summer for Rose. Client J.R. Smith has languished in free agency after he turned down a player option worth nearly $6.4MM, but Jonas Valanciunas, another Rose client, just signed a four-year, $64MM extension, and Rose also represents No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns.
The former agents for both Aldridge and Morris will continue to receive the fees based on the deals that the players signed with their respective teams this year, notes former Nets executive Bobby Marks (Twitter link).