Golf

Ex-NBA player, current college golfer J.R. Smith signs with agent for NIL deals


Former NBA player J.R. Smith has signed with Excel Sports to handle his representation in name, image and likeness deals, agent Lance Young told USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN.com was first with the news of Smith’s signing with an agent.

Smith spent 16 years in the NBA and announced last year that he was enrolling as an undergraduate at North Carolina A&T, a Historically Black College and University located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Smith also said he going to pursue golf while attending school and has competed in several tournaments for N.C. A&T.

Young said that Smith wasn’t really thinking about NIL until it was brought to his attention and said they are talking to sports and Fortune 500 companies.

“J.R. is an NIL guy but with the influencer tag on it as well. With J.R. having seven or eight million followers on his platforms, it’s really an influencer deal,” Young said.

Smith, now 36, made almost $90 million during his career. He was originally drafted in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets and also played for the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Los Angeles Lakers, winning two titles with the Cavs and Lakers.

He was also named Man of the Year Award with the New York Knicks in 2013 averaging a career 18 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

While Smith’s deal could be lucrative for him, the opportunity for others to cash in was appealing as well.

“J.R.’s main objective is just to bring more attention to the game of golf and to have as many minorities playing and have as much exposure to his team and all the HBCUs that maybe don’t play in the top tournaments and play at good golf courses,” Young said.



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