Predicting Next Wave of NBA Stars to Sign with Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports
Jay-Z has gone from being the extremely visible minority shareholder of the Brooklyn Nets to being the face of one of the hottest agencies in sports after landing his first big NBA player, Kevin Durant.
Durant announced that he would be leaving Landmark Sports, which represented him for the past year, and the announcement that he's joining Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports is expected any day now.
The recently formed agency has picked up a few big names in its infancy, including Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees, Skylar Diggins of the Tulsa Shock and Geno Smith of the New York Jets.
Obviously Durant is their biggest signing yet, and it would only make sense that they continue to land players around the league, especially with Jay-Z leading the way.
Having such a visible and well-respected figurehead atop the company has to do wonders for their recruiting process, and it probably doesn't hurt that most of their prospective clients are Jay-Z fans as well.
Moving forward, Roc Nation Sports will likely turn into one of the biggest multi-sport agencies and prove to be one of the biggest players in the NBA.
What They're Looking for
Roc Nation Sports is going to have to build a solid base before anything else, which means a handful of additions along the way.
It seems the agency is focusing on three things: location, visibility and youth.
Taking a look at who they've landed so far, each player displays at least one of these three characteristics.
Robinson Cano is 30, which isn't necessarily young, but it's not incredibly old for a baseball player, either. He does, however, play for the most recognizable baseball team on the planet, which has to be the main draw there.
Geno Smith is in the same situation location-wise, playing for a team that has been the center of a media whirlwind despite their struggles. His age and potential to become the starting quarterback for a New York-based team are definitely bonuses.
Skylar Diggins might seem like an odd grab, but she's a pretty, charismatic, young WNBA player. While she isn't going to dominate the league like Brittney Griner, she should be a marketable woman.
Kevin Durant is just 24 and poised to take over the NBA at any moment. He's a no-brainer.
Location is generally less important when it comes to the NBA, especially because players aren't covered in gear and tend to be all over the place with endorsements.
One of the first things the agency should look to do after laying down the solid base of Kevin Durant is find a player in one of the big basketball cities across the country.
With the Los Angeles Lakers in flux and lacking any notable young players, the next logical destination would be New York.
Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire are starting to get up there in years, so why not go after a fan-favorite, mid-level guy on the Knicks?
That would obviously be Iman Shumpert.
The hair, combined with his ability to put down some extremely athletic dunks, has made him a favorite in the city, and he would make him a terrific grab for Roc Nation.
At some point, Roc Nation is going to want to grab a player who can represent them on the Miami Heat, the center of media attention in the NBA.
Mario Chalmers doesn't set the world on fire, but he's a guy whom people constantly notice and generally like to laugh at.
He's a bit of a quirky dude who says an outlandish thing here and there, but he plays for the Heat, so he might as well serve a purpose for Roc Nation.
Keeping an eye on the young budding stars around the league, Paul George is a name that obviously comes to mind.
George came into his own during the Eastern Conference Finals, made a name for himself and reintroduced Indiana Pacers basketball to the nation.
For whatever reason, people tend to enjoy the Pacers being a successful team, whether they're legitimately a fan of them or not.
Grabbing a guy who will become the face of that franchise would be a solid move for any agency.
Brandon Jennings is an outspoken, entertaining player whom people love to have some sort of opinion on. Regardless of whether he's a solid player or not, he's extremely visible.
The only thing that's certain with Jennings is that he constantly does something that puts him in the headlines, and any publicity is good publicity when it comes to young players.
People know his name, they've seen his highlights, and they have an opinion on him. That's three positives for a young player looking to become somebody.
Point guards are hot right now, so why not load up on point guards, right?
Damian Lillard became a cool player for people all over the country to like this season. They seemed to think they were going outside the box by claiming that he should win the Rookie of the Year Award, even though it was painfully obvious halfway into the season.
Even still, the interest that people took in Lillard made him an extremely popular player. Oh, and he's kind of awesome as well.
With a lack of West Coasters in the ranks, picking up a dude in Portland definitely wouldn't be a negative.
Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get that one done and had to settle for Kevin Durant as his first NBA player to represent.
Bummer, I know.
There's no reason to think Noel is no longer in the agency's crosshairs, so we might as well assume that he'll still be a target for Roc Nation.
Roc Nation has locked up the second-best player in the NBA, so they might as well go after a guy who has been tabbed by many to become the league's best point guard in the coming years.
Irving's face is recognized nationally (well, Irving as Uncle Drew at least), he's barely old enough to drink legally, and he is on the verge of exploding. All he needs is to play for a successful basketball team.
In the coming years, Irving's success could very easily lead to a ton of new endorsements, and even a signature shoe at some point.
He's a face, a name and a charismatic young player: the perfect guy to be the co-face of a budding sports agency.