Aug 11, 2012; London, United Kingdom; USA forward LeBron James (6) celebrates after winning the gold in the men's basketball final against Spain in the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James' decision to leave CAA to be represented by his friend could shake up the NBA agent power structure.
LeBron James will leave Creative Artists Agency and will be represented by childhood friend and exiting CAA agent Rich Paul, reports Sports Business Journal's Liz Mullen. LeBron had previously left Aaron Goodwin to be represented by CAA's Leon Rose in 2005. James' teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and close friend Chris Paul, a 2013 free agent, all remain represented by CAA.
In a story confirming the news, ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst notes that Rich Paul had collected a decent stable of clients at CAA, including 2012 No. 2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. It's unclear whether MKG or any of Paul's other clients will also leave CAA.
LeBron can become a free agent in July 2014. His new agent will only get a cut of new contracts signed; Rose will have made the commission on James' current high-priced deal. Bosh and Wade are both represented by CAA's Henry Thomas. CP3 is represented by Rose. CAA and Rose in particular have close ties with William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley, a mysterious basketball power broker who seems to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It remains to be seen whether LeBron's decision leads to an exodus from CAA.
LeBron is in the midst of the most successful period of his career as the 2011-12 NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP, an NBA champion and having won his second Olympic gold medal.