New York Knicks' Nerlens Noel sues Rich Paul and Klutch, claiming loss of $58M in potential salary

Nerlens Noel, New York Knicks center, filed a lawsuit against Rich Paul and Klutch Sports on Monday. He claims he lost $58M in potential salary while Paul was his agent from 2017 to 2020.
Noel filed the lawsuit after Klutch had recently filed a grievance to the National Basketball Players Association. Klutch claimed Noel hadn’t paid $200,000 commission on his previous one year contract with the Knicks. Multiple sources informed ESPN.

Noel asserts breach of fiduciary obligation, breach of contract, and negligence. The lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount, but seeks actual and punitive damages.

Paul declined to comment.

The lawsuit was filed in Dallas County in Texas. It centers on a July 2017 decision that Noel made as a restricted-free agent for the Dallas Mavericks. After being traded to the Mavericks midway through his previous season, Noel averaged 8.5 point and 6.8 rebounds.

Happy Walters was Noel's agent at the 2017 start of free agency. Noel alleges that he was offered a $70 million, four-year deal by the Mavericks. This number was reported in several news outlets that summer. Noel claimed that he fired Walters during the free-agency process and that he hired Paul after meeting at Ben Simmons' birthday celebration in Los Angeles.

Paul represents many NBA All-Stars including Simmons and LeBron.

Noel claimed that Paul advised him not to accept the $70m offer and to accept a one year deal. This would allow him to be unrestricted, free agents the next year. Paul also said he could negotiate a better contract for Noel. Noel signed the $4.1 million qualifying offer after turning down the deal.

Noel injured his thumb the following season and missed 42 games. His numbers plummeted. Noel didn't sign with Dallas again and instead played for the Oklahoma City Thunder the following two seasons, earning the minimum league salary of $3.7 million. He played the Knicks last season, earning $5 million. Noel was with Paul through all four of his contracts.

Noel claims that Klutch did not make him a priority as a free agency, wasn't responsive to teams seeking to sign him and that he failed to conclude a multi-year contract with the Thunder. He was informed that this was in the making. After signing with the Knicks, Noel fired Paul.

After playing 41 games for the Knicks, Noel signed a three year deal with the Knicks this Month that guaranteed him $27.7million and $4.1 million in incentives. Agent George Langberg negotiated the deal.