CHICAGO — Devin Booker and Joel Embiid are looking for new agents, and they will have big shoes to fill.
They are in the process of losing Creative Artist Agency superstar Leon Rose, who is going to be officially running the Knicks as team president in the coming weeks.
The two superstars gave their full blessing to the Rose hire, saying he has what it takes to be a team president.
“I think he’ll do unbelievable,’’ said Booker, the Suns’ brilliant shooting guard who was a late addition to the All-Star Game, replacing injured Damian Lillard. “One of the most genuine guys I know. One of the most honest guys I know. So I’m happy for him in his new position. I think the Knicks are in really good hands.
“[He’s] very excited,’’ added Booker, who recently signed a five-year extension. “It’s a new challenge. And like I said, he’s willing to take it on. I think he’s going to do an unbelievable job.’’
It’s little wonder Rose got Booker, who fell to 13th in the 2015 draft. Booker’s alliance with Kentucky coach John Calipari is strong. Rose also works with advisor William Wesley behind the scenes. Wesley has no official title at CAA and reportedly will not join Rose with the Knicks but likely would help him out where needed.
Calipari is on record saying he “won’t coach the Knicks’’ but agent/NBA insider David Falk said not to bet against it. Booker has his own viewpoint.
“I would be surprised,’’’ Booker said. “I think Cal is happy where he’s at. He’s done tremendous things for the Kentucky Wildcats and he has a very safe home there. So I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t see it happening. You never know.’’
Embiid, the 76ers’ oft-injured center, says he’ll likely stay with CAA but will miss Rose, who is tying up loose ends with the agency.
“Leon is my guy,’’ Embiid said. “He’s like family to me. When I heard the news I was happy for him. He’s cool. Being an agent for such a long time and getting a GM or a president job I think is amazing. I’m so happy for him. I’m sure he’ll do a good job over there. I think he’s a great human being. He’s going to do a great job.’’
Embiid isn’t seeking a major change with his representation. Rose has about 18 clients.
“Leon did a great job but it’s always been about a collective effort,’’ Embiid said. “It was always Leon but it was always other guys, too. There’s a lot of support there [at CAA]. So I’m happy what they’ve been able to provide for me.’’
The Cameroonian big man has been under heat — he has acknowledged, for stuff like “not loving the game.’’ The Sixers are a disappointment — ranked sixth in the East and Embiid is feeling the heat. Trade speculation has arisen from the struggles. If Embiid were ever on the trading block, to acquire him the Knicks would probably have to give up Mitchell Robinson in any deal.
Saturday, Embiid said Philadelphia is ready to reverse course.
“I’m back to being myself,’’ Embiid said. “I think it starts for me. I’m going to bring that passion back. I haven’ been able to show it [this season] with the hand. I’m back to being myself and having fun.’’