While most of today’s NBA news has to do with the restart plan that will commence at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, later this month, Trae Young did make a major career move during the hiatus.
Young’s agent, Omar Wilkes, left Octagon Sports to join Rich Paul and Klutch Sports. Wilkes became the head of basketball at Klutch, which allowed for Paul to take on more of a CEO role.
Young had the option to remain with Octagon but because of a strong relationship he’s forged with Wilkes, made the jump to Klutch Sports as well. The move was widely expected, but nonetheless it was that instantly began Los Angeles Lakers rumors.
Due to LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kentavious Caldwell Pope’s affiliation with the agency, the Lakers have become the NBA’s de facto face of Klutch, despite the fact that a majority of their clients are not on the Lakers.
There also is the fact that Young is on a lowly Hawks team, and his brand would instantly be helped by forcing his way to L.A. However, Young’s father, Rayford, said the move has absolutely nothing to do with the Lakers, and that it’s about Klutch’s brand of paving your own path, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic:
“I wish people would look at his history,” Rayford said. “He’s never been a follower. When he won the Nike EYBL Peach Jam, he could have went to a super team after that. He turned down going to Oak Hill Academy, which is one of the top prep schools. People told him in high school that he wouldn’t be an All-American or a top recruit if he went to a local high school in Norman, Oklahoma. He averaged 44 points his senior year and was an All-American. Then they told him that he wouldn’t be a first-round pick if he went to Oklahoma. Calipari sat in our living room and told him, ‘If you want to be a lottery pick, you better come to Kentucky.’ He stayed with Oklahoma. He’s never been a follower. This whole thing with Klutch never had anything to do with going to play with the Lakers one day. They have a lot of people on their roster who aren’t with the Lakers.
“I would ask those fans who are fans of Trae or Atlanta fans to just look at his history. He knows this is a team effort, but he wants to have that statue next to Dominique (Wilkins) one day, man. I’ve told you this before, my son is 6-foot-1, but he thinks he’s the best player on the court no matter if LeBron is on the floor with him. Hopefully, it never backfires on him, but he’s got big balls and is very confident. He just knows what he wants to accomplish. I never think my son is going to join a super team unless they all come to Atlanta. He’s just got too much pride to do that. Maybe that pride will backfire, but who knows. My son has seen it happen here in Oklahoma City with (Kevin Durant). He wasn’t one of those who called him a cupcake, but he’s seen the backlash of something like that happen.”
Young is still on his rookie contract, and will be a restricted free agent at the end of it, meaning the Hawks still have many more years of team control. Young is the perfect star to lead the Hawks back to relevancy.
Nevertheless, because of James and Davis and their path to teaming up on the Lakers, this type of thing will never stop when a new player signs with Klutch. If anything, it speaks to the power and impressive client list that Paul has accumulated in such a short time.
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