LeBron James switches agents, leaves CAA

Photo from bossip.com

LeBron James has a new agent — his childhood friend Rich Paul.

And what does this mean to the average NBA fan? It could lead to “The Decision II” as early as the summer of 2014.

James has an early termination option for 2014 in his current contract with the Miami Heat, plus a player option for the 2015-16 season. The commission on his current contract will continue to go to CAA, which played a huge role in bringing together the superstar trio of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Paul, who already had a working relationship with James through LRMR Marketing, would not collect a commission (typically 4 percent) on James’ NBA contract until LeBron signs a new deal.

James’ decision was first reported on Twitter by Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal.

Here is more info on the agency switch from Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “A source close to the Heat forward confirmed to the Sun Sentinel early Thursday morning that James will be leaving Creative Artists Agency, the agency that also represents Wade and Bosh, in order to be represented by longtime friend Rich Paul, who has emerged with a significant roster of clients of his own, including Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Tristan Thompson and Jonny Flynn. James had been represented at CAA by Leon Rose, while Wade and Bosh will continue to be represented by CAA’s Henry Thomas. Paul had worked at CAA under Rose but will now leave CAA to form his own agency. The source close to James emphasized that the parting with CAA is amicable and is not a reflection of any James unease with CAA, with Wade and Bosh both made aware of the impending move. James signed with Rose in 2005, with Rose then joining CAA in 2007. …  James already had a working relationship with Paul under the umbrella of their LRMR Marketing company, a collaboration that also includes James’ manager Maverick Carter and friend Randy Mims, who has emerged as a member of the Heat’s traveling party. Through that association, James branched into an international marketing deal with the Fenway Sports Group, leading to his stake in Premier League soccer power Liverpool FC. While agency switches are not uncommon, with James having previously left the representation of agent Aaron Goodwin, they generally tend to have the greatest impact with the expiration of contracts.

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