Nerlens Noel suing Rich Paul, Klutch Sports

Nerlens Noel
May 7, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; New York Knicks center Nerlens Noel against the Phoenix Suns at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Per the Sports Agent Blog, New York Knicks veteran center Nerlens Noel has filed a lawsuit against his former agent Rich Paul and Klutch Sports Group for $58 million.

Noel’s lawsuit claims that Paul told him that he was a $100 million man while at Ben Simmons’ birthday party in 2017. At the time, Paul was not his agent as he was being represented by Happy Walters.

After the party, Noel moved on from Walters and signed with Paul. At the time, Noel was coming off a 2016-2017 season in which he was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Dallas Mavericks midseason. In 22 games with the Mavs, he averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Noel went into the offseason as a restricted free agent and was offered a four-year $70 million offer sheet by the Mavericks. Leaning on the advice of Paul, he turned down the contract — instead agreeing to a one-year, $4 million deal with hopes of a long-term deal the next year.

Unfortunately, Nerlens Noel suffered a thumb injury that forced him to miss 42 games. In the 30 games he played, Noel averaged just 4.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in 15.7 minutes.

Nerlens Noel’s claims against Rich Paul

New York Knicks' Nerlens Noel Rich Paul
Mar 21, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Nerlens Noel #3 of the New York Knicks reacts after he loses control of the ball in the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on March 21, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

According to Noel, he was not a priority to Paul leading to him only being able to sign a two-year $3.75 million minimum deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder the following offseason.

After declining the second year of his contract with the Thunder looking to test the free agent market, Noel did not receive any contract offers leading to him signing another a one-year minimum deal to remain with OKC. Noel reportedly wanted to sever ties with Klutch Sports as a result but was convinced to stay when company agent Lucas Newton convinced him that he was working on getting him a contract worth $10 million a year for three years.

However, teams were reportedly unable to get in contact with anyone in Klutch Sports with Noel only able to secure a one-year deal with the Knicks after he was contacted by Knicks president and former agent Leon Rose personally. Noel officially moved on from Klutch Sports in December 2020.

According to Nerlens Noel, Paul has a history of neglecting his lesser well-known clients such as Norris Cole and Shabazz Muhammad compared to those with more star power.