Rich Paul, who is best known as the agent for NBA superstar LeBron James and others, is being sued by an NBA player for allegedly costing him tens of millions of dollars.
According to the lawsuit documents obtained by ESPN, New York Knicks center Nerloms Noel accuses Paul and his Klutch Sports agency of costing him over $58 million in potential salary.
In the legal docs, Noel claims that Paul told him that he was “a $100 million man” and convinced him, therefore, to reject the $70 million deal that was publicly offered by Noel’s former team, the Dallas Mavericks, in 2016-17. Instead of that multi-year deal, Paul allegedly convinced Noel to take the $4.1 million single-year deal.
This conversation about rejecting the lucrative offer took place during that summer at fellow NBA player Ben Simmons’ birthday party. That is where Paul’s also allegedly convinced Noel to fire his previous agent and join the Klutch Sports family.
The risk of turning down the $70 million, multi-year deal backfired the very next season when Noel broke his thumb, played in just 30 games, and did not get the $100 million deal he was allegedly promised.
In Noel’s lawsuit, he claims Paul lost interest in him, stopped fielding his calls and stopped taking offers from teams expressing interest in Noel. Among those teams were the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Because of the perceived slight and neglect, Noel parted ways with Paul in December 2020.
Flip the page to view how Noel’s lawsuit reads.