Wasserman Media Group's Arn Tellem, one of the most powerful and prominent player agents in the history of the NBA, is finalizing an agreement to become vice chairman of Palace Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns the Detroit Pistons, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
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, who signed a five-year, $35 million deal a year ago.
Van Gundy and general manager Jeff Bower run the Pistons' front office and basketball operations. With Gores spending most of his time running his Platinum Equity company, Tellem will largely become the Pistons' ownership face in Michigan.
A formal announcement of Tellem's hiring will be made Friday.
Tellem's business savvy and stature within the NBA community is expected to be immensely impactful to the Pistons. Tellem's deal with Gores could include an ownership stake, sources said.
Wasserman Media has over 50 players and $300 million-plus in player contracts on the books, including Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, New Orleans' Anthony Davis, Chicago's Derrick Rose and several of this summer's most prominent free agents – Memphis' Marc Gasol, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge and Golden State's Draymond Green.
Under Tellem, Wasserman's basketball division has been led by two executive vice presidents of basketball, Thad Foucher and B.J. Armstrong. Wasserman has a deep roster of respected NBA agents, including vice president of team sports, Greg Lawrence, who is also a significant part of the company's basketball division.
Tellem is expected to transition out of Wasserman over the next few months, sources said.
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