Report: Nerlens Noel suing Rich Paul, claims agent is responsible for $58M in lost earnings

David Akerman
3 Min Read
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks big man Nerlens Noel is reportedly suing famed NBA agent Rich Paul. Noel is claiming that Paul told him he was a “$100 million man” in 2017 and that he would be able to get Noel a max deal if he fired his then-agent.

At the time, Noel was being represented by agent Happy Walters and had a four-year, $70 million offer from the Dallas Mavericks on the table.

The 27-year-old listened to Paul, who represents NBA stars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as he fired Walters and proceeded to decline the offer from the Mavericks. Paul had also told Noel to accept a qualifying offer worth $4.1 million, something Noel also wound up doing.

Paul reportedly began to lose interest in Noel as a client after the University of Kentucky product suffered a thumb injury during the 2017-18 season.

“During the free agent season which began on July 1, 2018, and after Noel’s one-year contract with Dallas expired, neither Paul nor anyone at Klutch Sports presented any real proposals to Noel in terms of strategies or ideas on how Noel might secure a long-term contract or even a significant contract for the following season,” read the complaint. “Indeed, as the 2018 NBA free agent season began, no real offers or deals were presented to Noel on the first day of free agency.”

The complaint states that multiple teams told Noel they had unsuccessfully tried to get into contact with Paul in order to express their interest in the former first-round pick.

Noel eventually decided to fire Paul as his agent in December of 2020 after learning that Paul “had history of mismanaging and ignoring other clients and costing them significant money.”

This offseason, Noel signed a three-year deal with the Knicks while being represented by George Langberg. Noel claims that during the time he had Paul as his agent, he lost $58 million in potential earnings.

NBA fans will certainly be keeping their eyes on this situation as it continues to unfold.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate who has experience in writing, editing and video production. He has been following the NBA and NFL for as long as he can remember.