Conflict of Interest

July 9, 2012

By Joe Kotoch


Much has been reported about the proposed Dwight Howard trade to the Brooklyn Nets over the last 36 hours as the Nets and Magic proceed in negotiations.  As has been well documented the Nets and Magic need a third team to help facilitate the deal so that Kris Humphries can be traded to allow more salary to be shed by the Magic.  At the heart of this deal lies Dan Fegan, super agent, who represents Dwight Howard and Kris Humphries.


In 2010, Howard parted ways with his original agent, Aaron Goodwin and signed with Fegan of Lagardere Unlimited.  From the time that Howard signed with Fegan his playing contract and many endorsement deals had already been negotiated by Goodwin.  Typically, an agent will draw a maximum 4% commission on all playing contracts and up to 20% on all endorsement deals.  As a former first overall pick and the top center in the NBA Howard has quite draw.  


When talk of Howard opting out of his contract but trying to force a trade so as to get the top dollar ratcheted up, many around the league suspected Fegan was the key force driving Howard so he could renegotiate Howard's max-deal and begin earning a commission.  



Around the NBA there may not be a more loathed agent than Fegan, who has had some high-profile disputes with teams over contracts.  One GM described Fegan as "a real piece of work".


Looking at the the Howard saga a key obstacle in the finalization of any trade is Kris Humphries, who the Cleveland Cavs would be willing to sign for a reported one year deal in exchange for a first round pick.  Humphries obviously would prefer long-term security and is being advised on which suitors and deals are best by Fegan, who is motivated to get Howard a maximum deal with an extra year in Brooklyn.  To say Fegan has a conflict of interest is an understatement.


Ultimately the Cavs or some other team will likely trade for Humphries thereby allowing the Nets and Magic to complete the trade of Howard and give Fegan a huge commission but should Humphries fizzle out next season, sustain a significant injury, or encounter some other incident that damages his market value Fegan will have sold out his own client for personal gain.  Most agents would not be so quick to settle on a one year guarantee even if Humphries signs for a larger salary in spite of security.  Perhaps, Mr. Humphries should seek a second opinion before being led down this path by Fegan.