Brook Lopez is in the midst of the biggest multi-tier decision of his career. He has to decide whether or not to opt in or out of the final year of his contract. Then he’ll decide if he’d like to stay in Brooklyn with the Nets, or move elsewhere. On top of that, he needs to figure out if he wants the security of a long-term deal, or the potential reward of a short-term contract that could take advantage of the NBA’s rising salary cap in the upcoming years.
Lopez has long trusted his agent, Arn Tellem, with these matters. Tellem helped Lopez secure his last deal, a four-year contract worth $61.8 million, the maximum allowable for Lopez at that time.
But now Tellem is leaving his career as a sports agent to join the Detroit Pistons as the Vice Chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Tellem will “transition over the next few months” into his role with the Pistons, right as teams enter negotiations with free agents.[note]As an aside: Tellem’s son, Matt Tellem, works in the Nets organization in the basketball operations department as the team’s Basketball Information Coordinator.[/note]
Besides Lopez, Tellem represents three other star big men hitting free agency this offseason: LaMarcus Aldridge, Draymond Green, and Marc Gasol. He also reps Joe Johnson, who the Nets are looking to trade, and reportedly discussed a trade deadline deal with… the Pistons. Hmmm.
Nets general manager Billy King has made it abundantly clear that re-signing Lopez, as well as fellow frontcourt mate Thaddeus Young, is his top offseason priority. It’s not clear if Tellem’s imminent departure will have any impact on Lopez’s decision, but it’s another wrench thrown in an already creaky Brooklyn offseason.