The pivot of the New York Knicks, Nerlens Noel, filed a lawsuit against former agent Rich Paul and his firm, Klutch Sports, on Monday, alleging he lost $ 58 million in potential salary while represented by Paul from 2017-20.
Noel took action after Klutch recently filed a complaint with the National Basketball Players Association alleging that Noel had failed to pay $ 200,000 in commission on his previous one-year contract with the Knicks, multiple sources told ESPN.
Noel claims breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligence. The lawsuit does not cite a specific amount of damages, but requests actual and punitive relief.
Paul declined to comment.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Dallas County, Texas, centers on a decision made in July 2017 when Noel was a restricted free agent for the Dallas Mavericks. Noel averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 22 games with the Mavs after he was traded midway through the previous 76ers season.
At the start of free agency in 2017, Noel was represented by agent Happy Walters. Noel claims in the lawsuit that the Mavericks offered him a four-year, $ 70 million deal, a number that was reported by various media outlets that summer. During the free agency process, Noel said he fired Walters and hired Paul after they met at his birthday party. Ben simmons in Los Angeles.
Paul represents numerous NBA All-Stars, including Simmons and Lebron James.
In the lawsuit, Noel said that Paul advised him to pass the $ 70 million offer and accept a one-year contract so he could be an unrestricted free agent the following year when Paul said he could land Noel a more lucrative contract. Noel ultimately turned down the deal and signed his one-year qualifying offer of $ 4.1 million.
The following season, Noel broke his thumb and missed 42 games as his numbers dropped. He did not re-sign in Dallas and played the next two seasons for the Oklahoma City Thunder, achieving a league-low, $ 3.7 million combined, as a reserve. He then played last season for the Knicks, earning $ 5 million. Noel stayed with Paul for all four contracts.
Noel claims in the lawsuit that Klutch did not make him a priority as a free agent, did not respond to teams seeking to sign him as a free agent and failed to execute a multi-year contract with the Thunder. Noel fired Paul last season after signing with the Knicks.
After starting 41 games for the Knicks and playing strong defense, finishing third in the NBA with an average of 2.2 blocks per game, Noel signed a three-year deal with the Knicks this month that guarantees him $ 27.7 million with another $ 4.1 million in possible incentives. The deal was negotiated by agent George Langberg.