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#pounditThursday, June 13, 2024

NBA exec denies that new agent rule was created for Rich Paul

Rich Paul

The NCAA has added new criteria for agents who want to represent student-athletes testing the NBA Draft waters, and one NBA executive insists the change was not made with superagent Rich Paul in mind.

The NBA and NCAA are trying to protect young players from hack agents and did not create the new criteria for Paul, an anonymous NBA executive told Jeff Goodman of Stadium on Wednesday. He said all the talk about a new rule being created for Paul is “silliness.”

The exec did not say whether he thought the new criteria would be effective, but he insists they were put in place to help prevent agents who are just trying to make a quick buck off of young players.

A lot of people find that hard to believe. LeBron James was Paul’s first client, and Paul now has a roster of about 25 that includes superstars Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green and John Wall. Paul does not have a college degree, and one of the new criterion is that agents representing players who are looking to test the NBA Draft market must have a bachelor’s degree. Paul represented a player recently who backed out of his commitment to Syracuse and ended up taking a $1 million internship at New Balance rather than playing in college or the G League. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was openly upset about the situation and took a shot at LeBron over it.

You can understand why the changes sound like the “Rich Paul rule,” especially with the way the agent has risen to power in professional basketball since he founded Klutch Sports in 2012. NBA officials can deny it all they want.

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