Irving parted ways with longtime agent Jeff Wechsler on Wednesday, clearing the way for him to ultimately work with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation prior to the start of NBA free agency on June 30, sources said.
Irving, a six-time All-Star, will become an unrestricted free agent, and league sources say he remains intensely interested in the Brooklyn Nets. The New York Knicks are expected to remain competitive for Irving, too, sources told ESPN.
The Nets and Knicks have both hoped to sign Irving and Kevin Durant together into max salary slots. Durant’s free agency has been complicated by a ruptured right Achilles tendon that is expected to keep him out of the entire 2019-20 season. The Knicks and Nets are both still interested in signing Durant and Irving together, league sources said.
Wechsler had represented Irving since he was the No. 1 overall pick out of Duke in 2011, negotiating multiple national marketing campaigns and helping to launch his Uncle Drew soft-drink commercial and movie character. Wechsler helped Irving navigate his way out of Cleveland and into a trade to the Celtics in 2017.
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Wechsler also represents Celtics star Jayson Tatum. He previously represented Alonzo Mourning and Penny Hardaway.
Roc Nation represents several top NBA players, including Nets guard Caris LeVert. One of the draws of Roc Nation to players has been its close connections to the entertainment industry. Roc Nation is also known for its connections to the entertainment industry. Irving has starred in one movie, and he has signed on to star in a second one this summer. If he is looking for a secondary career, he picked the right agency.
The timing is tough for the Celtics, who maintained hope they could re-sign Irving and trade for Anthony Davis after a disappointing season. On Wednesday afternoon, news leaked that Boston was in trade talks with New Orleans alongside the Los Angeles Lakers, and that Danny Ainge was undeterred by Rich Paul’s dire warnings that Davis would leave the Celtics in free agency in the summer of 2020.