Jay-Z’s upstart sports agency has received another big boost, as a source confirmed to ESPN on Friday night that Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant will leave his current agent to join Roc Nation Sports.
The source said Durant believes he doesn’t need a contract agent now because he signed an $85 million extension with the Thunder in 2010 that will take him through the 2015-16 season. Instead, Durant — already one of the most marketable players in the league — has told those close to him that he wants to increase his brand.
A spokesman for Roc Nation Sports told ESPN that Durant is not currently a client. It’s unknown whether Jay-Z will wait until he sells his small ownership share in the Brooklyn Nets — it’s believed he owns between one-fifth and one-fifteenth of 1 percent of the team — before signing Durant. A source tells ESPN that Jay-Z’s ownership sale has not yet been completed.
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If Jay-Z is just doing marketing work for Durant, he might be able to steer clear of NBA rules that would prohibit him from representing a player and owning a piece of a team.
Durant has endorsement deals with Nike, Sprint, Gatorade, Skullcandy headphones, BBVA Compass, 2K Sports and Panini America. This will be Durant’s third agent in his six years in the league. He was represented by Goodwin Sports and, most recently, Landmark Sports.
His departure from Landmark and move to Roc Nation Sports was first reported by the Sports Business Journal.
Since announcing his intention to start a sports agency just a couple of months ago, Jay-Z has signed some impressive clients, including New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith and former Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins, who was recently selected third by the Tulsa Shock in the WNBA draft.
Other athletes who are said to be interested in signing with Roc Nation Sports, which has a relationship with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), include New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson.