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#pounditThursday, October 28, 2021

Nerlens Noel sues Rich Paul for $58 million in lost wages

Nerlens Noel

Nerlens Noel is suing agent Rich Paul and Paul’s Klutch Sports over what he says was poor representation from Paul that cost him money.

Noel filed the lawsuit in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday. The suit names both Paul and Klutch Sports as defendants. Noel is seeking $58 million after claiming to have received poor advice from Paul.

Noel, 27, was represented by agent Happy Walters coming out of Kentucky in 2013. The big man says that he was seated next to Paul during Ben Simmons’ birthday dinner in July 2017, when Paul began to recruit Noel.

According to Noel, Paul told the center he was a “100 million man” and that he could get him a max contract. As a result, Noel took Paul’s advice to stop negotiations on a 4-year, $70 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks in 2017. Noel then dumped Walters and signed with Paul. Noel also signed a $4.1 million qualifying offer with the intent of signing a max contract in free agency.

Well, you can imagine how Noel felt after a max contract offer never came.

Noel suffered a thumb injury during the 2017-2018 season, forcing him to miss 42 games. He alleges that Paul began to lose interest in him as a client during that time.

Noel eventually signed a 2-year, $3.75 million deal with the Thunder ahead of the 2018-2019 season. He alleges the deal arose through recruitment from Russell Westbrook and Paul George, not through Klutch Sports.

Noel declined his player option after the first season but then signed with the Thunder for the minimum the following season after he says he did not receive any offers. Noel alleges that he learned from 76ers coach Brett Brown that Philly wanted to sign him, but Paul did not respond. Noel was considering leaving Klutch Sports, but he was convinced to stay based on the agency telling him they were working on a 3-year deal with OKC. That never materialized.

Noel signed a 1-year, $5 million deal with the Knicks before last season. He then fired Rich Paul and Klutch Sports. Noel alleges that he learned from others that Paul had a reputation for only focusing on his “marquee” clients and not the lesser-known ones.

Noel has since signed a 3-year, $27.7 million deal with the Knicks under the representation of George Langberg.

Noel is suing Paul and Klutch on the grounds of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, negligence, and breach of good faith by interfering with a previous agent relationship and convincing him to sign with them, only to not deliver. He wants $58 million for being convinced to turn down the $70 million contract.

We don’t know if this case will have any legs, but it will result in negative publicity for Paul. It also might give another player a similar idea.

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