When it comes to NBA agents, there is arguably no bigger name than Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. The fact that his biggest client, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, is one of the most globally popular basketball players of all time probably has a bit to do with Paul’s rise to fame.
However, what might come as a bit of a surprise for some is the fact that he actually isn’t the most financially advanced agent in the NBA today. Well, at least that’s in terms of the salaries of the players he represents. See where Paul ranks in our Top 10 list of NBA agents based on the combined wages of their respective clients.
10. Jeff Austin
Cumulative salaries: $102,995,266
Jeff Austin of Octagon Athlete Representation just makes it on our list with a cumulative salary of a tad over $100 million. Austin represents seven players in the NBA, and there’s no denying that his biggest one is former back-to-back MVP winner Stephen Curry. Interestingly, Curry shares the same agent as current league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Austin and Giannis are expected to sign a mega extension with the Milwaukee Bucks soon, so you can be sure that Austin will be climbing up int he rankings once his clients signs that max deal.
9. Mike Lindeman
Cumulative salaries: $103,407,951
Mike Lindeman is the first out of three agents on our list who work for Excel Sports Management. At the top of Lindeman’s client list are Khris Middleton and Nikola Jokic, who are both currently on max deals with their respective NBA teams.
8. Sam Goldfeder
Cumulative salaries: $130,377,686
If you have Goldfeder as your last name then you’re probably going to be one wealthy man. This is exactly the case for Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports Management. Goldfedder represents the likes of Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, and CJ McCollum.
7. Austin Brown
Cumulative salaries: $154,543,982
Creative Artists Agency’s Austin Brown has cracked the Top 10 list, thanks in large part to D’Angelo Russell, who recently signed a max deal. Brown’s portfolio is on the rise, however, as it was earlier reported that none other than rookie sensation Zion Williamson picked him and CAA as his agent.
6. Steve Heumann
Cumulative salaries: $178,160,362
Steve Heumann of Creative Artists Agency (again) ranks sixth in our Top 10 agents list. Notable players he represents are Chris Paul, Andrew Wiggins, and Marc Gasol. Marc’s brother, Pau Gasol, is also on Heumann’s client list, and they appear to be working on a deal to reunite the veteran big man with the Los Angeles Lakers for one final season.
5. Bill Duffy
Cumulative salaries: $207,608,382
Rounding out our Top 5 is Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management. We’re in the big leagues now, with all agents in the Top 5 possessing cumulative salaries north of $200 million. Duffy currently has no max guys on his roster, but the likes of Nikola Vucevic, Zach LaVine, Goran Dragic, and Miles Turner
4. Aaron Mintz
Cumulative salaries: $238,062,678
Next up is Creative Artists Agency’s Aaron Mintz, who has 24 guys on his client list. This includes the likes of Paul George, who is currently on max deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Mintz is the third agent on our list from CAA, so in terms of agencies, it’s safe to assume that this particular agency is right up there at the top of the industry.
3. Rich Paul
Cumulative salaries: $264,322,588
Paul fall only third on our list, and it’s primarily because his roster of 24 players falls way short of the other two agents above him. Paul’s Top 3 clients are LeBron, Anthony Davis, and John Wall, who already, combine for close to 40% of Klutch Sports’ combined NBA salaries. Paul has been with LeBron from the get-go, and the careers of these two took a similar trajectory, albeit in varying degrees.
2. Mark Bartelstein
Cumulative salaries: $301,023,949
Mark Bartelstein is only one of two agents on our list that eclipsed the $300 million mark. His company, Priority Sports & Entertainment, represents 32 players in the NBA. Among those are Bradley Beal, Kyle Lowry, and Gordon Hayward.
1. Jeff Schwartz
Cumulative salaries: $426,379,189
Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management tops our list, and it isn’t even close. He’s more than $100 million ahead of the second guy on our list.
Schwartz is the founder and CEO of Excel Sports Management, and all the NBA players on the agency’s roster also fall under him. Aside from the clients listed under Lindemann and Goldfeder above, Schwartz also personally represents Kemba Walker, Andre Drummond, Hassan Whiteside, and LaMarcus Aldridge, to name a few.
As of writing, Schwartz and Excel Sports Management represent a total of 35 players in the league, including 12 All-Stars, and seven guys on max deals.
CAA may be on the rise, but Excel remains to be at the pinnacle.