Rich Paul, founder and CEO of Klutch Sports and the agent of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, is being sued by his former NBA client in New York Knicks big man Nerlens Noel.
According to the lawsuit (via Sports Agent Blog), Noel is blaming Paul for his past NBA free agency moves that cost him over $58 million in losses. Noel claims the super agent told him in 2017 that he was a “100 million man” and he could get him a max contract.
Noel also claimed that it was Paul who advised him to sign the $4.1 million qualifying offer with the Dallas Mavericks instead of the four-year, $70 million deal the Mavs were giving him after the 2016-17 season.
It went downhill for Noel after that, as a thumb injury limited the NBA big man to just 30 games in 2017-18. Paul allegedly “began to lose interest” in the player at the time and didn’t present any real offer or plan to secure him a long-term contract. The Malden native eventually played for the Oklahoma City Thunder for two seasons (on a league minimum) before joining the New York Knicks for the 2020-21 season.
Noel also alleges that Paul didn’t represent him properly, claiming that he ignored calls from interested teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Clippers. The seven-year NBA vet ended his relationship with Paul last December.
Here’s a part of the lawsuit that highlights Noel’s complaints:
Once the 2021 NBA regular season was over and the free agency season began, and with Paul no longer in the picture, Noel signed three-year deal with the Knicks for total of approximately $32 million.
Absent Paul’s tortious conduct, Noel would have signed contract with Dallas worth $70 million over four years. Instead, Noel listened to Paul and earned total of approximately $12 million during that same time frame and in turn, Noel lost approximately $58 million in earnings. Further, had Paul made any effort to work on Noel’s behalf from 2017 to 2020, Noel would not likely have been forced to sign series of contracts consisting of qualifying offers and league minimum deals that were well below the fair market value for Noel’s services.”
Rich Paul has yet to respond to the latest allegations by Nerlens Noel.
Source: Clautch Point