Rich Paul attended the Philadelphia 76ers’ home game against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, and it went just about how you would expect.
The well-known Klutch Sports agent Paul sat courtside at the contest, which the Sixers would go on to lose 109-98. During the game, a Philly fan had a message for Paul, who represents disgruntled Sixers star Ben Simmons.
“Yo Rich Paul, get Ben Simmons out of Philly!” the fan yelled at Paul amid a stoppage in play, per Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.
The fan pretty much summed up the way that the entire Sixers fanbase feels about Simmons, who has essentially burnt his bridges with the team and the city to an absolute crisp. Simmons has not played for the Sixers all season as he seeks a trade, and the ugly stalemate between the two sides continues.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Paul actually had an “amicable and professional” meeting with Sixers brass at a local Philly restaurant on Wednesday. But neither side budged off their stance (Paul that Simmons wants a trade and the Sixers that they do not intend to trade Simmons for pennies on the dollar), meaning that we are no closer to a resolution here.
To the fan’s point, Paul is definitely trying his hardest to get Simmons out of Philly. He has even gotten pretty ugly with some of his tactics. But through five months now of Simmons drama, there is still nothing to show for it.
Photo: Jan 12, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; NBA agent Rich Paul talks on the phone prior to the game between the Charlotte Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports
There may have been more than meets the eye with Alex Caruso’s departure from the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason.
BIll Oram of The Athletic reported this week on the Lakers’ attempts to re-sign Caruso over the summer. The team reportedly held firm at an offer of three years and $21 million for Caruso despite attempts by Caruso’s camp to compromise. Oram adds that Caruso was willing to accept a two-year, $20 million contract, which the Lakers said no to. Caruso would eventually leave to sign a four-year, $37 million deal with the Chicago Bulls.
The article also says that Caruso’s exit paved the way for the Lakers to offer more money to guard Talen Horton-Tucker, a client of Klutch Sports, and prevent Horton-Tucker from signing an offer sheet elsewhere. They would end up giving Horton-Tucker a three-year, $31 million deal.
On paper, it did not really seem to make much sense for the Lakers to pick the 20-year-old Horton-Tucker over Caruso, a win-now role player who had already established himself a championship-level rotation guy. Meanwhile, Horton-Tucker, though plenty talented, is a lesser-proven commodity who needs the ball in his hands a bit more. On a team led by an almost 37-year-old LeBron James and other aging stars, Caruso would have been the more logical fit. It is especially head-scratching given that Horton-Tucker ended up getting a longer deal with a higher average annual value than what Caruso was willing to accept to return to the Lakers.
But the pieces of the puzzle might start to fall into place when you consider the link with Klutch. James and Anthony Davis are both represented by the powerhouse agency. We also know that the Lakers have a history of taking care of Klutch clients, even the agency’s non-star players, during the James era. That as much as anything could have played a role in Caruso’s ultimate departure from the team that drafted him.
Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.
Photo: Apr 3, 2018; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) warms up prior to the game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
The already-toxic relationship between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers took another turn Thursday when Simmons’ agent accused the organization of further harming Simmons’ mental health by fining him.
Rich Paul told Shams Charania of The Athletic that the Sixers are “targeting” Simmons and exacerbating the player’s mental health issues by fining him. Paul also argued that the 76ers are trying to force Simmons to play regardless of what he tells a team-recommended mental health therapist.
“I truly believe the fines, the targeting, the negative publicity shined on the issue — that’s very unnecessary and has furthered the mental health issues for Ben,” Paul said. “Either you help Ben, or come out and say he’s lying. Which one is it?”
According to Charania’s story, the 76ers sent Simmons a schedule for Thursday that included the team’s game against Toronto. Simmons viewed this as a signal that the team would withhold his game check if he did not appear at the arena, as this has happened before.
Paul added that the 76ers should “not put finances above mental health” and focus on getting Simmons the help he needs to play again, be it in Philadelphia or elsewhere.
A team official disputed Paul’s characterization of events, stating that it is “absolutely not” true that the team is either forcing Simmons to return or accusing him of lying. The team believes it has been fully supportive of Simmons, but until they receive information from Simmons or his mental health professional that would preclude him from playing, they expect him to take part in team activities and work toward a return.
The entire story is worth reading and contains other quotes from Paul arguing that the organization is treating Simmons unfairly.
It’s hard to envision this helping the situation between Simmons and the 76ers. It’s also a clear signal from Simmons that he still doesn’t trust the organization. He has ultimately followed the team’s guidance on a key issue after initially refusing to. Doing so appears to have created a new problem in Simmons’ mind. It doesn’t help that there have been rumors that the Sixers do believe Simmons is lying about his mental health status.
Photo: Jan 30, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) talks to fans before a game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Nerlens Noel filed a lawsuit against his former agent Rich Paul earlier this year, and Paul has formally responded.
Noel is seeking $58 million after he says he received some poor and extremely costly advice from Paul. Noel says Paul was responsible for the center turning down a four-year, $70 million contract offer from the Dallas Mavericks back in 2017. In a court filing on Monday, Paul’s attorneys denied that and other claims made by Noel.
Noel says Paul advised him to turn down the $70 million contract and told him he deserves a max deal. Noel eventually signed a two-year, $3.75 million deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder ahead of the 2018-19 season. In addition to giving him bad advice, Noel also claims Paul ignored teams that expressed interest in signing his former client. You can read the full details of the lawsuit here.
Winning the lawsuit is a long shot for Noel, but it’s possible he and the NBA Players Association could come to some sort of settlement. Noel and one former NBA star have beefed on Twitter over the allegations.
Ben Simmons spoke with Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers and president of basketball operations Daryl Morey this week for the first time all offseason. Prior to that, the only communication Simmons had with the team was through his agent, Rich Paul. As you might expect, some of those conversations did not go smoothly.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report published a lengthy story on Wednesday explaining some of the current dynamic between Simmons and the 76ers. According to Fischer, there was one conversation between Rivers and Paul during the offseason in which Rivers cursed out the agent over his client’s refusal to report to the team.
“It’s in your f—ing contract,” Rivers reportedly shouted at Paul during a meeting at Paul’s home.
Simmons signed a five-year, $170 million extension with the Sixers two years ago. That hefty contract is one of many factors that have made him difficult to trade.
Many people believe Simmons only decided to report to Philly this week because he had racked up roughly $1 million in fines, but Simmons was reportedly never concerned about his pay being withheld. The former first overall pick believed he would somehow be able to recoup the money if and when a trade came together.
Rivers has maintained all offseason that the Sixers want Simmons back, and he reiterated that this week. However, his relationship with Simmons has been under a microscope since the coach passed up a chance to throw his support behind Simmons after the playoffs.
While Doc has gotten heated with reporters over the way they presented his comments, some NBA executives told Fischer that they believe “Rivers’ statement in particular as reprehensible for a coach.” Rivers did not throw Simmons under the bus in the same way that Joel Embiid did, for what it’s worth.
For now, Simmons is back with the Sixers. He still wants a trade, so both sides may be hoping his return helps facilitate one.
Ben Simmons is going for broke with his basketball future, and he may have to take drastic measures if things do not work out in his favor.
Philadelphia 76ers writer Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice reported Tuesday that Simmons could potentially fire agent Rich Paul to rectify the situation with the Sixers if his push for a trade ultimately fails. Neubeck cited this as the suggestion of an unnamed team source.
“[Simmons] could just say, ‘My agent talked me into this stupid f—ing strategy,'” Neubeck quoted the source as saying.
The three-time All-Star Simmons is all-in on trying to force a trade from the Sixers. Latest reports say he is committed to never playing for them again. Training camp begins in one week, and Simmons does not plan to attend.
The Sixers may not be willing to give in to the demand so easily though. Paul did help Simmons secure a $177 million max extension from the team. But if their camp ends up losing the game of chicken to the Sixers, Simmons may have little choice but to let Paul go.
One of the most unexpected celebrity couples of the year now appears to be Instagram official.
Grammy-winning singer Adele posted a series of pictures to her Instagram account this weekend, including a selfie with Klutch Sports agent Rich Paul, her rumored boyfriend. The two had attended the wedding of Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis, who is one of Paul’s clients.
The couple definitely seemed to have a lot of fun at the wedding, especially Adele, who was getting down to some Latin beats on the dance floor.
Rumors first started swirling when Adele attended an NBA Finals game in Phoenix over the summer sitting courtside with Paul and LeBron James. Now the two have taken another important step in their relationship by apparently going official with it on social media.
Tyrese Maxey is apparently content with staying right where he is regardless of what happens with teammate Ben Simmons.
Bleacher Report’s Jason Dumas reported Wednesday that the Philadelphia 76ers guard Maxey is excited for the coming year with the Sixers. The report adds that Maxey’s agent Rich Paul does not want him out of Philly and that the situation with Simmons, whom Paul also represents, is totally separate.
Dumas is walking back what he reported earlier this week, saying that Paul supposedly wanted both of his clients off the Sixers. Dumas had even said that Paul cancelled some of Maxey’s scheduled appearances at local Philadelphia community events.
Whatever the reason for the reversal, this is definitely good news for the Sixers. Maxey is only 20 years old and impressed many as a rookie last season, even getting some run during the playoffs. But good news for the Sixers has otherwise been few and far between lately.
Ben Simmons wants out of Philadelphia, and he may be taking others with him as well.
Bleacher Report’s Jason Dumas reported on Tuesday that there is a high chance 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey will be included in any Simmons trade. The two players are both represented by power agent Rich Paul, and Paul reportedly wants both of his clients out of Philadelphia. Dumas adds that some local organizations had been planning to partner with Maxey on community events. They were told to cancel those plans though because Paul does not want Maxey to grow roots in the city if he could be leaving.
Simmons has been on the trading block all summer and now has formally requested a move from the team. But losing the 20-year-old Maxey on top of that would be a blow for the Sixers. Maxey was a revelation for the team as a rookie last season. Philadelphia even sounded unwilling to include him in a trade for James Harden.
As for Paul, this seems to be an indication that he wants to cut ties with the Sixers completely. But it is not an entirely surprising one. Paul is currently battling a lawsuit filed by former Sixer Nerlens Noel, one of his old clients. Philadelphia reportedly had interest in re-signing Noel, but their overtures were allegedly ignored by Paul. With the Simmons drama adding even more fuel, the bad blood between Paul and the Sixers appears to have boiled over.
Kendrick Perkins thinks that Nerlens Noel is capping in his recent lawsuit against former agent Rich Paul and Klutch Sports.
The retired center turned ESPN analyst Perkins tweeted a shot at Noel this week. Perkins said that Noel needed to tell the truth about the situation and made a reference to Noel’s previous agent before Paul, Happy Walters.
Noel responded by tweeting a screenshot of the details of his suit, including that Paul allegedly ignored teams that were interested in signing Noel. The ex-lottery pick also hinted that Perkins was getting paid off by Klutch with the hashtag “#ThatCheckAintBigEnough” and tweeted a clown emoji at him in a subsequent post.
Perkins fired back by tweeting a dismissive meme at Noel.
What we do know is that Noel is seeking $58 million in lost wages from Paul and Klutch Sports. Noel claims that Paul gave him bad advice that led to him turning down a four-year, $70 million contract from the Dallas Mavericks in favor of a one-year qualifying offer worth $4.1 million. You can read the full details of Noel’s lawsuit here.
As for Perkins, there is no evidence that he is actually on Klutch’s payroll. But he is close friends and former teammates with Klutch’s marquee client.