Dan Fegan

Agent Dan Fegan Dies In Accident

Prominent NBA agent Dan Fegan was killed in an auto accident this morning near Aspen, Colorado, reports Erica Robbie of The Aspen Times.

The 56-year-old Fegan represented some of the biggest names in the league before a 2017 split with Independent Sports & Entertainment agency. In June of last year, Fegan filed a $30MM lawsuit against Hank Ratner of ISE, claiming fraud and contractual interference.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, Fegan was driving an SUV that was hit by a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus along Highway 82. Two passengers, including Fegan’s 5-year-old son, suffered serious injuries and were airlifted to a hospital in Denver.

“The bus didn’t have time to avoid the collision, so it broadsided the other vehicle and knocked it into the median,” said Roaring Fork CEO Dan Blankenship.

At one time, Fegan’s clients included Dwight Howard, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Nene and Ricky Rubio. He was listed among the top agents in the country in 2016 by Forbes magazine.

And Ones: Stoudemire, Paul, G League, Fegan

Former NBA All-Star and now Israeli League champion, Amar’e Stoudemire, has completed his first season abroad and is now weighing three major options, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Those options are retirement, returning to Israel to defend his title with Hapoel Jerusalem, or pursue an NBA comeback.

Stoudemire, soon-to-be 35 years old, last appeared in the NBA for a 52-game run with the 2015/16 Heat. In those games, the six-time All-Star posted totals of 5.8 PPG and 4.3 RPG in just under 15 minutes per game. In Israel last season, Stoudemire played a similar role as a sixth man, averaging 9.9 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 23 minutes.

The former Rookie of the Year was last effective in his first season with the Knicks after signing a massive five-year pact. Stoudemire revealed to Berman that while no talks have taken place yet, a reunion with the Knicks is possible. “I’ve followed New York, always pulling for the Knicks to have success,’’ Stoudemire said. “I’ve been hearing the stories [about Carmelo Anthony]. I’m always rooting for the Knicks and Carmelo as well to have success. Unfortunately it wasn’t the case this year. I do have positive energy toward the team, and soon they’ll start succeeding.”

Here are some additional notes from around the basketball world:

  • Soon-to-be free agent Chris Paul is set to opt-out of his Clippers deal but he will retain role as president of the National Basketball Players Associates, per ESPN’s Marc J. Spears (via Twitter). The All-Star guard was reelected to a new term in New York City Friday.
  • NBA agent Dan Fegan has filed a $30MM lawsuit against ISE’s Hank Ratner for fraud and contractual interference, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (via Twitter). In a separate tweet, Zillgitt says that Fegan alleges ISE and Ratner “orchestrated a Machiavellian conspiracy, to steal Dan Fegan’s clients and destroy his reputation.” ISE said in a statement that Fegan’s lawsuit is a “publicity stunt.”
  • Adam Johnson of D League Digest (via Twitter) reports that the G League expansion draft — which will include four new teams — is scheduled for August 23.

And-Ones: James, 2003 Draft, Wanamaker

Many have compared Kevin Durant‘s decision to join Golden State to LeBron James‘ move to Miami back in 2010, but LBJ doesn’t see it as the same situation, as Steven Ruiz of USA Today relays.

“I don’t think our careers are the same, as far as changing teams,” James said. “Their team was already kind of put together. And you just implement a guy who’s ready to sacrifice – a great talent, a guy who’s willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. But that team, they already knew what they were all about, and he just had to come in and do what he had to do. And that’s what he’s been doing.

“For me, when I left [Cleveland] to go to Miami, we had to build something. We brought in eight or nine guys, and we had to build something. And when I came back [to Cleveland] we had to build something again.”

Ten players were already on the Warriors roster when Durant arrived in town compared to just two—Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem—on the Heat when James came to South Beach.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Former Cavaliers GM Jim Paxson admits that he made moves during the 2002/03 season with the 2003 draft in mind, as he tells Sam Smith of NBA.com. “That season before [in 2002] we traded Andre Miller to the Clippers because he was up for that rookie extension for Darius Miles and some parts,” Paxson recalled. “I told ownership even though there is no guarantee [for the top pick], we need to take one more step back because this [2003] draft is going to be special [Paxson said their draft order was LeBron, Carmelo and then Bosh]. Andre was good enough to keep us in the 27 to 31-win range, which would take you out of that top three to four picks. We tied with Denver [for the most lottery balls] when we won the last game of the season. Then we got lucky to get the No. 1.”
  • Paxson added that he knew right away he had to surround James with shooting, Smith passes along in the same piece. The Cavaliers took Jason Kapono in the second-round of the 2003 draft.
  • Dan Fegan denies any ties to the new Dynasty Sports Group agency that was founded by former ISE agent Aylton Tesch, according to Liz Mullen of Sports Business Daily. Tesch left ISE shortly after the company fired Fegan.
  • CSKA Moscow plans to pursue Brad Wanamaker, who played collegiate ball at the University of Pittsburgh before flourishing in Europe, in the event that Milos Teodosic leaves for the NBA, international journalist David Pick reports (Twitter link).

Latest On Legal Battle Between Dan Fegan, ISE

JUNE 1, 9:54am: A representative for Independent Sports & Entertainment has issued the following statement to Hoops Rumors regarding the Fegan case:

“ISE will vigorously enforce its rights against Dan Fegan in the upcoming arbitration proceeding and will seek all damages caused by Mr. Fegan’s outrageous behavior toward ISE and the agents that were under his supervision. The arbitrator already expressly rejected Mr. Fegan’s argument that the non-compete agreement is unenforceable — the third finder-of-fact to do so, and ruled that ISE can seek damages against Mr. Fegan for his wrongful conduct.”

MAY 31, 10:57pm: An arbitrator has ruled in favor of Dan Fegan in his legal battle with former employer Independent Sports & Entertainment, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

The arbitrator’s ruling denies ISE’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent Fegan from competing against the agency. Fegan, who was fired in March as president of ISE basketball, has since launched his own company, Dynasty Sports Management.

Fegan has been among the leading agents for NBA players for some time, but in recent years he has been dismissed by high-profile clients such as John Wall, DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard. ISE claimed it had just cause for Fegan’s firing at the time of termination — the agency alleges that Fegan was operating a side business while working for ISE.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Udoh, Competitive Balance, Fegan, Barry

Milos Teodosic (CSKA), Ekpe Udoh (Fenerbahce), and Aaron Jackson (CSKA) are among the Euroleague Final Four participants who expect to receive NBA interest and could pursue opportunities stateside this offseason, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter).

Teodosic has been mentioned throughout the year as a Euroleague star who expects to make the leap to the NBA for 2017/18, but Udoh is another interesting name. A former sixth overall pick, Udoh struggled during his initial five-year stint in the NBA, but has blossomed into a more effective player in Turkey, averaging 12.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 2.2 BPG in 31 Euroleague contests in 2016/17. Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress took a closer look at Udoh’s game and his stock after his MVP performance at the Euroleague Final Four.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • In an interesting piece for SI.com, Lee Jenkins examines how last summer’s salary cap spike affected the NBA’s desire for competitive balance. “We were all thrilled at first,” one GM said. “It’s like if somebody gives you a $20 bill. That’s great, right? You can go into the free-agent market and bid on players you wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. And then you realize, Wait a minute, everybody else got this $20 bill too. So while I might be able to use my $20 bill on Ian Mahinmi or Chandler Parsons or Evan f—— Turner, the best team in the league, the team that went 73–9, the team that can guarantee multiple championships, they can use their $20 bill on Kevin Durant. The spike took average teams and made them marginally better. It took one great team and made them historic.”
  • Despite the Warriors‘ and Cavaliers‘ recent dominance, commissioner Adam Silver isn’t concerned about the NBA becoming a two-team league, and says both squads have a long ways to go before they can legitimately be considered dynasties. ESPN.com passes along Silver’s quotes on that subject, along with his thoughts on Lonzo Ball‘s father, LaVar Ball.
  • Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal provides an update on the legal battle between longtime NBA agent Dan Fegan and his former employer, Independent Sports & Entertainment. According to Mullen, a federal judge denied Fegan’s motion to dismiss ISE’s case against him, sending it back to state court. Fegan has been accused of operating a side business when he worked for ISE.
  • Former Florida guard Canyon Barry comes from a prolific basketball family, but if he’s not able to make it to the NBA, Barry has a pretty solid backup plan, which involves finishing his master’s degree in nuclear engineering. Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, who notes that Barry worked out for the Knicks on Tuesday, spoke to the young prospect about his NBA aspirations.

And-Ones: Back-To-Backs, Teodosic, Fegan

The Clippers benefited from the Cavaliers‘ decision to rest their stars over the weekend, routing Cleveland’s reserves by a 30-point margin on Saturday night. However, Clippers head coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers suggests that the NBA ought to do something to address situations where one of a team’s two back-to-back games is nationally televised.

“We have to protect our product,” Rivers said, per Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com. “It’s hard. It’s impossible, if you actually knew what went into scheduling, but the look of back-to-back ABC national games — it’s not good. … I think we have to treat those games like they’re afternoon games, and you don’t play the night before, and then you don’t play the next night after.”

As the NBA considers how to deal with the issue of teams resting healthy players, let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the league…

  • In his latest blog post for Eurohoops.net, CSKA Moscow star Milos Teodosic once again suggested that he’ll seriously consider signing with an NBA team this summer. For him to seriously consider an NBA team, that club would have to meet his “competitive ambitions” on the court in addition to making a competitive contract offer, Teodosic writes.
  • One third of the NBA’s teams hired new coaches in the 2016 offseason, but stability has reigned since then, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Assuming no coach is fired in the next few weeks, 2016/17 will be the first season in 53 years in which no team has made an in-season coaching change.
  • A judge has issued a temporary restraining order against prominent NBA agent Dan Fegan, recently fired by Independent Sports and Entertainment, to prevent him from competing against his former agency, reports Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal (Twitter link). Meanwhile, ISE is working to expand its basketball representation business, either through new hirings or via an agency acquisition, per Mullen.

And-Ones: Tarczewski, Green, Fegan, MVP Race

Center Kaleb Tarczewski is leaving the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, to play for Italy’s Olimpia Milano. He is signing a three-month contract to join the Italian champions with an option for next year, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia relays via La Gazzetta dello Sport. As Chris Reichert for The Step Back tweets, this is a big loss for the Blue with the D-League playoffs on the horizon. He was averaging 10.0 PPG and 7.3 RPG for the Blue. Tarczewski went undrafted last June after he averaged 9.4 PPG and 9.3 RPG in his senior year at Arizona.

In other news around the NBA:

  • Former Nuggets and Jazz guard Erick Green, who is playing for the Euroleague’s Olympiacos, could get another shot with an NBA team this offseason as a backup point, Trevor Magnotti of FanSided.com reports. Backup point guards will be at a premium this summer, Magnotti continues, and Green is a solid defender who has improved his offensive play. Green is also believed to have an opt-out clause if an NBA club comes calling, Magnotti adds. Green played in a combined nine games for the Nuggets and Jazz last season and 43 with Denver in 2014/15.
  • Agent Dan Fegan has been sued by his former employer, Independent Sports & Entertainment, for alleged unfair business practices, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Daily. One of the claims in the suit filed in Los Angeles by Independent Sports & Entertainment is that Fegan operated a side business which steered business away from ISE, Mullen continues. Howard Weitzman, Fegan’s attorney, called the side business claim  “a total fabrication,” Mullen tweets.
  • A survey of NBA executives puts James Harden ahead of the pack for the MVP race but it’s close, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. The newspaper polled 32 executives, including 20 GMs or team presidents, and 12 voted for Harden. Russell Westbrook received eight votes, Kawhi Leonard garnered seven and LeBron James picked up five.

ISE Agency Fires Dan Fegan, Hires Kevin Johnson

Independent Sports & Entertainment, an agency that represents a number of NBA players, has terminated the contract of veteran NBA agent Dan Fegan, according to a press release (Twitter link via Sam Amick of USA Today). Fegan, who had been the president of ISE basketball, will be replaced in the interim by chief marketing officer Chris Grancio.

In addition to letting go of Fegan, the agency has also hired former NBA player and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, who will serve as a vice chairman for the company. While Johnson’s history in politics and in the NBA should make him a good fit for such a role, it’s a somewhat surprising hire, given his history — Johnson has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, and has been linked to political scandal.

As ISE’s website shows, the agency represents many well-paid NBA veterans, including DeMarcus Cousins, Chandler Parsons, and Ricky Rubio. Several younger players who will be in line for bigger paydays in the coming years, including Jusuf Nurkic, Rodney Hood, and Cameron Payne, are also represented by the agency.

Many of those players are Fegan clients, so it will be interesting to see whether they stick with ISE, or follow Fegan elsewhere. The veteran agent has been fired by John Wall, DeAndre Jordan, and Dwight Howard in recent years, and according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell (via Twitter), ISE says it has cause for Fegan’s termination. So it’s possible his clients will simply stay with the agency and work with someone else in the company.

This will be a situation worth keeping an eye on as those ISE clients approach free agency — Cousins’ situation, in particular, should be an interesting one. The Pelicans big man is eligible to hit the open market in 2018.

Sixers Big Man Nerlens Noel Changes Agents

Sixers center Nerlens Noel has parted ways with agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports and is expected to sign with Dan Fegan, multiple sources told Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link).

The timing of Noel’s decision to switch agents is intriguing. Noel can become a restricted free agent this summer if the Sixers, as expected, extend his qualifying offer of approximately $5.85MM.

He has expressed reservations about Philadelphia’s frontcourt logjam with fellow lottery picks Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid, among others, also fighting for playing time at the power positions.

This could be a signal that Noel will push harder for a trade, or he might simply feel Fegan will negotiate a better deal for him over the summer.

As Luke Adams detailed in our Trade Candidate series, there have been rumblings about Noel’s desire to be dealt. Both Marc Stein of ESPN.com and Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders have reported that Noel would prefer to be moved.

According to recent tweets by Kyler, all indications are that Noel wants to be traded this season, and the Sixers will do everything they can to accommodate him (Twitter links).

Philadelphia’s Big Three could all be available for the first time against the Lakers on Friday. Coach Brett Brown declared that he can successfully juggle their playing time if they make sacrifices. However, it’s generally assumed the Sixers will eventually deal one of them. Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer opined this week that Okafor will likely be the odd man out because his skill set doesn’t mesh with either Noel or Embiid.

Noel made his season debut on Sunday after undergoing knee surgery during training camp, playing 10 minutes against the Pistons. He missed the Sixers’ game against the Raptors on Wednesday with an ankle injury.

DeMarcus Cousins Speaks Highly Of Mavs’ Organization

DeMarcus Cousins believes his brother, Jaleel, who plays for the Mavericks‘ D-League affiliate, is in a great situation, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes.

“It’s the Mavericks. It’s one of the best franchises in the league,” Cousins said. “[Mark] Cuban’s a great guy. [Rick Carlisle‘s] a great guy. [Jaleel is] under some good people. I’m confident in the franchise and I’m confident in his abilities, as well. I think it’s a good situation for him.”

The Mavs have inquired about the availability of Cousins in the past and they are expected to be among the teams expressing interest in the big man at the trade deadline should the Kings fall out of the playoff race, Townsend notes. It remains unlikely that the Mavs can acquire Cousins in a trade since they don’t have a ton of attractive assets.

Dallas could always attempt to sign Cousins during the summer of 2018 when the center will be an unrestricted free agent. Townsend notes that Cousins’ agent, Dan Fegan, has a strong working relationship with the franchise.

Cousins told Townsend that he has respect for the Mavs and added that it was “flattering” to hear that the they were interested in him. Townsend was dubious of his response, questioning the big man since he had apparently said in the past that he “liked” Sacramento as well. Cousins then corrected the reporter and exclaimed, “I love Sacramento.”