After dismissing his agent and separating with his longtime AAU coach and adviser, Miami Heat rookie Michael Beasley suddenly is the subject of a feeding frenzy of power-broker agents trying to represent him, multiple NBA and NCAA sources said.
When reached by text message Saturday, agent Joel Bell didn't deny that Beasley, the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft, had fired him, saying only, "I don't have a comment at this time."
Several top agents – including Aaron Goodwin and Andy Miller – are trying to fill the vacuum left behind by Bell and Beasley's adviser, D.C. Assault director Curtis Malone. Players Association rules forbid Beasley from hiring a new agent until 15 days from the day he files paperwork firing Bell.
Sources say that Malone sensed Beasley's unhappiness with Bell and had recent overtures with other agents about becoming the player's agent. This way, Malone could position himself to survive the purge of Bell and still stay close to the former Kansas State power forward.
Beasley wanted bigger and better endorsement deals than Bell delivered him, sources said. Those may have been unrealistic expectations given Beasley's poor public image, but that was apparently part of Beasley's thinking in letting Bell go. For now, the bigger shock to those in the basketball community is this: Malone is out, too.
"Michael had a falling out with both of them – Bell and Malone," said a source close to Malone. "He's out on his own now."
Malone didn't return a call and text message from Yahoo! Sports.
Goodwin has the advantage of representing a childhood friend of Beasley, the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant. Several sources believe the relationship between the two players' mothers will sway Beasley to Goodwin.
Several rival agents believe the dogged Miller – who represents Kevin Garnett and Chauncey Billups – has become a factor in securing in the recruitment of Beasley. Yet, in a text message to Yahoo! Sports on Saturday, Miller insisted that wasn't so.
"Mike is a terrific talent," Miller said. "Despite rampant and unsubstantiated rumors, I have not had any dialogue with him, his mother or any person associated with him."
Bell is an agent based in the Washington, D.C., area with close ties to Malone. Rival agents largely had given up trying to recruit Beasley as a freshman at Kansas State because they believed the power forward was destined to be represented by Bell.
Yet there had been industry whispers for several weeks that Beasley's partnership with Bell had grown wobbly. Another projected first-round pick, Texas A&M center DeAndre Jordan, left Bell after dropping to the second round in the June draft. Jordan has signed with Bob Myers and Greg Lawrence of Arn Tellem's Wasserman Media Group.
Most likely, Beasley would've been the No. 1 pick in the draft if there weren't so many doubts about his maturity and character. Before the June draft, those questions made teams uneasy. Even the Heat considered drafting Beasley just to trade him for a package of players and picks. Whatever the case, once again, there is unrest in the life of Michael Beasley.
- Joel Bell