New York Knicks center Nerlens Noel has filed a lawsuit against former top NBA agent Rich Paul and his firm, Klutch Sports, this past Monday. Noel has claimed he lost more than $58 million in potential salary when Paul was his agent in 2017. The news comes after reports came saying Klutch Sports filed a grievance with the National Basketball Players Association. The firm is claiming Noel owes more than $200,000 in commission stemming from his one-year contract with the Knicks. It’s a lawsuit sure to affect the NBA as Klutch Sports is the primer sports firm for many including Ben Simmons, Trae Young, John Wall and of course, LeBron James.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Dallas County, Texas, stems from Noel becoming a restricted free agent with the Dallas Mavericks in 2017. It was during that time, Noel was being offered a four-year, $70 million deal by the Mavericks. In the midst of the free agency period, Nerlens Noel met Rich Paul through an event. After talks, Noel was convinced to fire his then-agent, Happy Walters, and sign with Paul.
Within the details of the lawsuit, Noel acknowledges he was convinced by Rich Paul to turn down the Mavericks’ offer in order to secure a more desirable contract the following year. Per Paul’s advice, Noel instead signed a one-year qualifying offer of $4.1 million. Noel would miss 42 games the next season as a result of a broken thumb and not resign with Dallas.
Noel spent the next two seasons as a backup on OKC, earning a minimum of $3.7 million combined. Last season, Noel earned $5 million with the New York Knicks. After last season, Rich Paul and Nelens Noel parted ways.
As Nerleans Noel puts it, Rich Paul and Klutch Sports never took him seriously nor made him a priority. According to the lawsuit, Klutch Sports never made any significant moves to talk with teams interested in signing Noel. The Knicks center also mentioned Klutch Sport’s unwillingness to sign a multi-year contract with OKC as promised. Noel made a strong case on defense with the New York Knicks last year, averaging 5.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks.