Home SPORTS GIST Basketball NBA: LEBRON JAMES’ AGENT SUED BY NEW YORK KNICKS STAR NERLENS NOEL OVER LOSS OF EARNINGS

NBA: LEBRON JAMES’ AGENT SUED BY NEW YORK KNICKS STAR NERLENS NOEL OVER LOSS OF EARNINGS

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Farouq Oduola A.

Nerlens Noel, a centre for the New York Knicks, has sued his former agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group, for breach of fiduciary duty and carelessness toward him as a client.

The lawsuit does not specify a monetary amount of damages, but it does seek both actual and compensatory damages.

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Noel claims Paul misled him as a restricted free agent in 2017 and cost him $58 million in potential income in the action, which was filed Monday in Dallas County, Texas and originally reported by Sports Agent Blog.

The crux of Noel’s dissatisfaction comes from Paul’s original appointment as his agent in 2017.

At a birthday celebration for another of the agent’s clients, Philadelphia 76ers point forward Ben Simmons, the 2013 number six overall draught pick met Paul.

According to the lawsuit, Noel was weighing a four-year, $70 million contract from his team, the Dallas Mavericks, but Paul told him that if he dismissed his agent Happy Walters and hired him instead, he could be a “$100 million guy.”

Noel followed Paul’s advice and fired Walters, opting for a one-year qualifying offer ($4.1 million) with the goal of pursuing a bigger contract the following summer.

Noel alleges Paul lost interest in him as a client when he tore a ligament in his left thumb and only played 30 games in the 2017-18 season.

Noel went on to sign two league-minimum contracts with the Oklahoma City Thunder, totaling $3.7 million over two seasons. He parted ways with Paul when he signed a one-year, $5 million agreement with the New York Knicks at the start of the 2020-21 season.

Paul was also accused by the Noel of bypassing various NBA front offices who were purportedly in contact with Klutch Sports to discuss signing the big man.

Paul represents NBA stars such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Trae Young, Draymond Green, and Ben Simmons, among others. In December, Noel ended his relationship with Klutch.

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