Nerlens Noel
New York Knicks center Nerlens Noel is suing his former agent Rich Paul and Paul’s firm Klutch Sports over potential salary loss. (Image: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nerlens Noel Suing Rich Paul and Klutch Sports

New York Knicks center Nerlens Noel is suing his former agent Rich Paul and Paul’s firm Klutch Sports over potential salary loss, as first reported by Darren Heitner of Sports Agent Blog.

Noel is suing Paul on the grounds that he lost $58 million in possible salary between the period of 2017-2020. The conflict surrounding the lawsuit arose when Paul allegedly interfered with Noel and his relationship with his then agent Happy Walters. The founder of Klutch Sports reportedly convinced Noel to end the negotiations of the four-year, $70 million offer from the Dallas Mavericks, in favor of a one-year, $4.1 million deal. Paul allegedly assured Noel that the deal was best in the short-term because the former Kentucky big man could sign a max deal in the next offseason.

Well, as we very well know, that did not happen. Noel injured his thumb, missed half the season and was not re-signed by the Mavericks. That series of unfortunate events landed him on my June list of players who bet on themselves and lost.

The Complaint filed by Noel alleges that after the injury, Paul lost interest in him as a client.

“During the free agent season which began on July 1, 2018, and after Noel’s one-year contract with Dallas expired, neither Paul nor anyone at Klutch Sports presented any real proposals to Noel in terms of strategies or ideas on how Noel might secure a long-term contract or even a significant contract for the following season,” states the Complaint. “Indeed, as the 2018 NBA free agent season began, no real offers or deals were presented to Noel on the first day of free agency.”

VIA Sports Agent Blog

Noel eventually terminated his contract with Paul and Klutch Sports after several failed assurances during consecutive summers of NBA free agency. Heitner says this in the report:

“Noel finally terminated his relationship with Paul and Klutch Sports in December 2020 and says that the final straw was Noel learning that Paul “had a history of mismanaging and ignoring other clients and costing them significant money.” He believed that Paul and Klutch Sports were only focused on serving their marquee clients, and did not have the capacity to serve Noel as well as players such as Norris Cole or Shabazz Mohammad.”

VIA Sports Agent Blog

Paul declined to comment to ESPN.

*** As more details emerge, this post will be updated. ***

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