• Nerlens Noel has filed a lawsuit against his former agent Rich Paul and Klutch Sports
  • The New York Knicks center is claiming over $58 million in lost earnings
  • Noel signed a three-year, $32 million extension with the Knicks this summer

The New York Knicks’ Nerlens Noel has sued his former agency, Klutch Sports, and its founder, Rich Paul.

Darren Heitner of Sports Agent Blog reported that Noel is suing Paul and Klutch Sports for $58 million in lost earnings after the player revealed that it was his former agent who convinced him to pass up on the four-year, $70 million deal he was set to sign with the Dallas Mavericks.

The Noel blunder is a well-known “know your own value” cautionary tale among NBA fans and around the league since many have lambasted the Knicks center for not accepting the long-term deal that also gives him financial security.

Paul, who represents the likes of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Trae Young and Ben Simmons, convinced Noel in 2017 to terminate his preexisting relationship with Happy Walters, his then-agent who has represented him since 2013.

The University of Kentucky product later reveals that Paul had started losing interest in him after he went down with a torn ligament in his thumb, with Paul never fulfilling his promise of making Noel a “100 million man.”

Since turning down the Mavericks’ offer, Noel signed a two-year, $3.75 million league-minimum deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2018 and another minimum deal with the New York Knicks last season.

Noel terminated his deal with Paul and Klutch Sports in December 2020 when he learned that Paul “had a history of mismanaging and ignoring other clients and costing them significant money,” according to Heitner’s piece.

Noel now finds himself with some sense of security in New York as he signed a three-year, $32 million extension with the Knicks, where he was represented by George Langberg of Catalyst Sports.

Heitner ends his piece by writing, “Noel wants to be made whole for losing what he says is $58 million in lost earnings after being led to leave Walters and pass up an offer from the Mavericks for $70 million over 4 years.”

For a quality big man like Noel, money matters a lot as traditional-oriented big men have lost their luster in the modern, small-ball era of basketball.

Noel helped the resurgent Knicks to a playoff berth with averages of 5.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.

Those questioning the extension should look to his ability on the defensive side of the ball.

According to Cleaning the Glass, Noel ranks in the 97th percentile of big men in terms of block percentage, which refers to the percentage of opposing shots blocked, over 64 games played in the regular season.

Noel may have not reached the “100 million man” claim that Paul enticed him with, but he is certainly going all-in on the chase for the agent and his management team to pay him what they made him lose a couple of years ago.