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Wake Forest head basketball coach Steve Forbes took agent Michael Tellem to task for his actions that he believes helped result in Bobi Klintman not returning to school for his sophomore season in 2023-24.
During an press conference on Friday, Forbes called his time working with Tellem, who was Klintman’s NIL agent, “far and away the worst experience I have ever been a part of attempting to work with one of my player’s agents” and described him as “deceitful,” “conniving” and “underhanded.”
Klintman declared for the 2023 NBA draft in April but maintained his college eligibility in case he didn’t get the professional evaluation he was seeking.
Sam Vecenie of The Athletic noted at the time Klintman was “going to be the perfect test case for how far NBA teams are willing to go to take a home run swing on the newest obsession within front offices: the big, skilled wing.”
Forbes noted Klintman was “on track to have a breakout sophomore season” and play more of his natural position at small forward after playing mostly at power forward as a freshman.
Forbes took issue with Tellem about where Klintman worked out after last season ended; Tellem wanted him to work out in Los Angeles, but Forbes thought it best for Klintman to stay on campus because he wasn’t enrolled in online classes. Forbes said Klintman worked out at Wake Forest’s practice facility daily and never mentioned leaving school early, training in L.A. or transferring. Forbes then said assistant coach Jason Shay received a phone call in April threatening Klintman would transfer unless they found a solution for him to train in Los Angeles.
Forbes noted he had assistant coach Matt Woodley call a higher-up in the agency representing Klintman on his behalf to gauge the NBA’s interest in the Swedish forward:
“During that phone conversation, coach Woodley was told that Bobi was either going to be a first round draft pick or come back to Wake Forest. Coach Woodley was told that Bobi was not going to transfer, this was out of the question. Coach Woodley was told that Wake Forest was a very good place for Bobi to play and that Bobi really liked Wake Forest and his teammates.”
The deadline for prospects to remove their names from the 2023 draft was May 31. Klintman kept his name in the mix well past that deadline, making it seem like he would attempt to go to the NBA.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported on June 12 that Klintman withdrew from the draft to “pursue alternative routes to the NBA, both domestic and abroad.”
The 20-year-old Klintman signed with the NBL’s Cairns Taipans in Australia later that same day for next season before entering the 2024 NBA draft.
A 4-star prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, Klintman appeared in all 33 games for the Demon Deacons last season. He averaged 5.3 points on 40.7 percent shooting and 4.5 rebounds per game.