The Detroit Pistons just acquired one of the biggest names in his profession, but it’s someone who will never enter an NBA game.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, agent Arn Tellem has agreed to become vice chairman of Palace Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Pistons. Per Wojnarowski:
Tellem will answer directly to billionaire owner Tom Gores, but will not become the ultimate authority on the Pistons’ basketball decisions, sources said. That responsibility will remain with president and coach Stan Van Gundy.
Tellem, an undisputed power at Wasserman Media Group, will leave one of the most impressive client lists to his cohorts, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders points out.
Wow… Arn Tellem leaving the agent business is HUGE news. Tellem's roster of guys is impressive. pic.twitter.com/xRE3YWITbL
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 5, 2015
Tellem represented Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge—the two highest-profile free agents in the impending offseason—as well as Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson and Tyreke Evans, among several others.
The move would be a clear conflict of interest, so Tellem “is expected to transition out of Wasserman over the next few months,” Wojnarowski cited his sources of saying.
Perhaps Tellem is—understandably—sticking around for one final hefty payday, since Gasol, Aldridge, Brook Lopez and Brandon Knight are all expected to receive sizable contracts in July.
As for the Pistons, they’re entering a critical stretch full of negotiations. This offseason, Greg Monroe is poised to test the open market, while Reggie Jackson is a restricted free agent. Plus, the 2015-16 campaign will be Andre Drummond’s final year before he hits restricted free agency, and he’ll theoretically demand a max deal.
Tellem’s expertise will certainly come in handy, even if Van Gundy, the team’s President of Basketball Operations, holds the final say.