The Whiteboard: Which agency could field the best NBA team?

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In Sunday night’s Lakers’ victory over the Houston Rockets, coach Frank Vogel rolled out a seldom-used lineup, surrounding LeBron James and Anthony Davis with Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Talen Horton-Tucker. It’s not a particularly noteworthy lineup from a strategic standpoint and they didn’t do much to stand out in the game — a two-minute stint in which they scored 10 points and gave up four to the Rockets.

However, the lineup was at least a bit groundbreaking in that all five players share the same agent — Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. The Lakers actually have six players on the roster who have at one time been represented by Klutch, Markieff Morris changed agents in 2019. But this is the only example I could find of the Lakers, or any other team for that matter, using a full lineup of a single agent or agency’s clients.

While it might be a long time before we ever have an actual example with a real-life sample to compare this Laker’s lineup to, I thought it would be fun to see which agencies could actually field the most interesting rosters. At the risk of threatening the Lakers’ chemistry with this silly newsletter, I’ve made some changes and additions to the Klutch lineup and laid out my favorite eight-man rotations for Klutch, CAA, Octagon Athlete Representation and Excel Sports Management.

The Klutch Sports eight-man rotation

Anthony Davis
LeBron James
Draymond Green
Jordan Clarkson
Terrence Ross

Ben Simmons
Dejounte Murray
Darius Garland

Klutch is a bit heavy on bigs and their starting five will put a lot of defensive responsibility on Draymond and LeBron to defend on the perimeter with Davis cleaning things up on the backline. The guard and wing spots aren’t necessarily an inspired bunch but with Simmons and Green playing heavy minutes they’ll need as much shooting as they can get — hence the Clarkson, Ross and Garland selections. Murray isn’t much of a shooter at this point either but he might be the best wing and backcourt defender available.

The CAA eight-man rotation

Joel Embiid
Paul George
Devin Booker
Donovan Mitchell
Chris Paul

Karl-Anthony Towns
Zion Williamson
Collin Sexton

Oh, boy, does CAA have some shooters. I’ve gone with a relatively small starting five here but I just love the idea of all those spacing around Embiid, letting him eat in the middle and just attacking from the perimeter around him. Off the bench, we’re adding a little more size without sacrificing much in flexibility or versatility. This group certainly doesn’t have the defensive upside of Klutch but their offense might be way, way better.

The Octagon Athlete Representation eight-man rotation

Bam Adebayo
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Wes Matthews
Steph Curry
Dennis Schroder

Donte DiVincenzo
Monte Morris
Cam Reddish

Octagon doesn’t have as much depth as some of the other squads and things are very small coming off the bench. But, in Steph and Giannis, they have the winners of four of the last six NBA MVPs. Adebayo and Giannis will make for a powerful interior defense, even if things are a little light on the perimeter and there is enough shooting and playmaking here that they could certainly give anyone a run for their money.

The Excel Sports Management eight-man rotation

Nikola Jokic
John Collins
Brandon Ingram
Khris Middleton
Jamal Murray

CJ McCollum
Andre Drummond
Mikal Bridges

Excel has a really interesting balance between depth and high-end talent. Jokic and Murray are a fun combination and Collins, Ingram and Middleton give a nice balance of offensive and defensive skill and versatility. The bench gives a lot of plug-and-play options with veterans like LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and Kemba Walker available. I went here with a mix of size, shooting and playmaking to try and check as many boxes as possible.

Ranking these rosters is an exercise in fantasy and qualitative valuation. For me, I’d seed CAA as the No. 1 seed with maybe Klutch, Octagon and Excel coming after, in that order. Who looks the best to you?

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