NBA super-agent Rich Paul has been hit with a $58 million lawsuit by New York Knicks star Nerlens Noel. Noel was prompted to pursue a lawsuit after Klutch Sports filed a grievance with the NBPA, claiming that the Knicks center owed the agency $200,000. In response, Noel claimed that Paul and Klutch Sports were negligent and breached their fiduciary duty to him in the past. Ultimately, Noel claims that Paul's negligence cost him $58 million in potential earnings.
Paul and Noel's working relationship dates back to 2017. At the start of NBA free agency in 2017, Noel was represented to Happy Walters, who reportedly presented him with a potential contract worth up to $70 million with the Dallas Mavericks. However, Rich Paul, who also represents LeBron James and Anthony Davis, allegedly met Noel at a party in Los Angeles and told him that he could get Noel a more lucrative deal.
After the party in Los Angeles, Noel fired Walters and signed with Paul in hopes of landing a more lucrative deal. Noel claims that Paul advised him to turn down the offer that Walters presented him and signed a less lucrative one-year deal with the Mavericks, so that he could pursue a larger deal next offseason.
During the 2017-2018 NBA season, Noel broke his thumb and missed 42 games as he averaged career-lows in points and blocks. Over the next three seasons, Noel played in Oklahoma City and New York for a combined $8.7 million. Paul and Klutch Sports negotiated each of those deals before Noel left the agency this offseason and teamed up with George Langberg. With Langberg, Noel signed a three-year deal with the Knicks this month worth up to $31.8 million.
Adding to the lawsuit, Noel claims that Rich Paul was ignoring potentially lucrative deals leading up to his departure from Klutch Sports. According to Sports Agent Blog, former Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown informed Noel that his team had attempted to contact his agent, but no one responded. Noel alleges that he heard similar things from another team as well.
At this time, neither Paul nor Noel have commented on this developing story.