Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
NBA agent Todd Ramasar has been through plenty of trade deadlines. The founder and CEO of Life Sports Media and Entertainment, Ramasar represented his first player (Baron Davis) when he was 23.
Now 40, Ramasar has five NBA clients and 36 overseas, including Toronto's Pascal Siakam and Washington's Thomas Bryant.
Below, Ramasar discusses life as an agent during trade season (the conversation, which took place two days before last Thursday's deadline, has been edited):
SNY: HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE TRADE DEADLINE?
RAMASAR: "There are always different scenarios in different years. This year, it's more checking in with the teams that clients are on to see if they're going to be potentially included in any trade. Because as we know in this league, there's very few players that are not expendable in terms of being included in trades, for a number of reasons. Whether it's shedding salaries, upgrading rosters, you never know when a player is going to go to a team that potentially wants him, or to go to a team to make the numbers work."
SNY: HOW DO YOU APPROACH THOSE DIFFERENT SCENARIOS AROUND THE DEADLINE?
RAMASAR: "There are circumstances where it's just not a good fit for the team or it's not a good fit for the client. And you may be having proactive conversations with the team leading up to the trade deadline to encourage them to possibly move the client. And that's always behind closed doors…. And then in other scenarios, like this year, it's just a matter of having calls with different teams, general managers, even with the media, saying, "What's going on? What's real and what isn't?
"Because there's going to be a lot of chatter out there in the market and in the media at this time of year. The reality is, NBA teams (like other business entities) don't move until there are deadlines. So a lot of the chatter won't become real until we're closer to the (NBA trade deadline).
"After being in the business for so long, you pretty much know which player is going to be on the move and which player isn't as it relates to a client, based on circumstances and everything else. If you're not proactively on top of a client potentially being moved, that's when all of a sudden, there's a call and you see it on the (news) ticker. And you're caught off guard that the client's just been moved.
"I always try to be proactive as opposed to reactive. If a client is potentially on the move, I'm always going to give them a call and say, 'Hey, this isn't imminent, but just know there's chatter around this right now. Maybe it's not real. But it can become very real, very quickly as the deadline approaches. So I just want to give you a heads up so you're not blindsided.'"
SNY: DO YOU REMEMBER A TRADE DEADLINE THAT WAS PARTICULARLY INTENSE FOR YOU?
RAMASAR: Baron Davis, when he was traded from the Hornets to the Golden State Warriors (in 2005). If you recall, Baron was one of the top players in the league. This was big news, and mind you this was pre social media, pre a lot of things getting reported in real time…. I was trying to figure out what the likely destination was going to be. Because, in those scenarios, you just never know where a player may end up. And you try to control it as much as possible. That's the reality.
"As an agent, you just try to be ahead of it, so the client ends up in a destination that you'd like to see him. As opposed to what we're seeing with (Andre) Igoudala in Memphis, that's not a scenario that's worked out well for the Grizzlies or Igoudala at the moment (Igoudala was moved to Miami in a multi-team trade prior to the deadline).
"When the trigger was pulled (on the Davis trade), I didn't have time to sit and think about what it means in that moment, long-term. It's like, 'We have to get flights. When are you leaving? When do you have to report? When are physicals?' All of a sudden, he goes from wearing a Hornets jersey and a few days later he's in a Warriors jersey and he's back in California.
"So it was just a number of different things that came up in that scenario. But it was time for Baron to move on, or for him and that team to part ways, and it ended up working out great. Baron fell in love with the Bay Area and the Warriors and it ended up working out for everyone."