CAA, OG Anunoby and the Knicks next chess move
The CAA-led New York Knicks traded for a CAA client. The trail of clues show how we got here and where the Knicks might go next.
A thought experiment. Imagine that the sponsor patch on the team jersey displayed a player’s agency logo instead of the corporate entity. The NBA would make a lot more sense. Klutch Sports, CAA, WME, Excel Sports, Priority Sports. These aren’t household names but for NBA junkies, they should be. They’re teams unto themselves. On its site, CAA even brands itself as “The most respected team in the industry.”
Over the years, folks in the league would tell me to track which players are at which agency and that’d be a pretty handy guide for all future deals. Track it all, they’d say. When do they switch agents? Is it a contract year? A disgruntled star trying to get out? Who are the coaches repped by? Is the front office is led by a former high-level agent? If so, from which agency did he work?
Answer those questions and the constellation of the NBA becomes a lot clearer. Agencies don’t dictate everything but they are in many respects the hidden hand of the NBA. They’re showing their hand more. To understand the magnitude of agency power, notice that just about every transaction reported by the newsbreakers is tagged with an agent and/or agency.
When the New York Knicks traded for former Toronto Raptors wing OG Anunoby on Saturday, I immediately thought about three letters: C-A-A.
And then I thought about the next domino to fall.