Nerlens Noel has filed a $58 million lawsuit against former agent Rich Paul, the details of which have now started to emerge. As part of that suit, the current New York Knicks center has reportedly learned that Paul prevented him from signing with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Lawyer and Sports Agent Blog founder Darren Heitner revealed the skirmish involving Nerlens Noel and Rich Paul via an exclusive piece. Diving into the details of Paul's alleged mismanagement of Noel, Heitner wrote:
"Noel allegedly learned from Brett Brown, who was coaching the Philadelphia 76ers at the time, that the 76ers front office had been trying to contact Paul to discuss a potential deal and that Paul refused to respond. This was purportedly the case with other team representatives who were reaching out as well."
The Philadelphia 76ers have always needed a serviceable backup guy for their franchise cornerstone in Joel Embiid, especially considering his fitness troubles. While they have managed to land some useful pieces such as Dwight Howard and Andre Drummond in recent years, Nerlens Noel could have been a long-term solution at that spot.
Meanwhile, Noel has seemingly found a home in the Big Apple. After impressing with 2.2 blocks per game last season, Noel signed a three-year $32 million deal with the New York Knicks this offseason.
The history between Nerlens Noel and Rich Paul
Nerlens Noel has already split ways with Rich Paul. Noel was represented by Paul from August 2017 to December 2020. Darren Heitner added more details as to why Noel eventually took the step to end his association with Rich Paul. Heitner wrote:
"Noel finally terminated his relationship with Paul and Klutch Sports in December 2020 and says that the final straw was Noel learning that Paul 'had a history of mismanaging and ignoring other clients and costing them significant money.' He believed that Paul and Klutch Sports were only focused on serving their marquee clients, and did not have the capacity to serve Noel as well as players such as Norris Cole or Shabazz Mohammad."
Rich Paul is a reputed NBA agent handling bigwigs such as LeBron James, Ben Simmons, Anthony Davis, Trae Young and Draymond Green, among others. So there's a good chance Noel may not have been offered the priority he demanded during his association with Paul and Klutch Sports.
It must be noted that Nerlens Noel never managed to bag a good deal with Rich Paul as his agent. He first accepted a $4.1 million qualifying offer with the Dallas Mavericks in 2017 before signing a two-year minimum deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder the next season.
Even after he proved to be a valuable backup center in OKC, Nerlens Noel only received a $5 million offer from the New York Knicks last year. He eventually split up with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports.