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Nerlens Noel’s $58M Lawsuit Against Former Agent Rich Paul Dismissed by Judge

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District Court Judge Jane J. Boyle has dismissed Nerlens Noel’s $58 million lawsuit against his former agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, in accordance with Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal:

Liz Mullen @SBJLizMullen

Judge dismisses $58M lawsuit Nerlens Noel filed versus former agent Rich Paul this past year.

Judge sends dispute to NBPA arbitration pic.twitter.com/itfk01ZQ4y

The Detroit Pistons center filed the lawsuit in Nov. 2021, accusing Paul to do “little to no work” in securing market-value contracts, endorsement deals along with other financial considerations for Noel.

As the case was dismissed, Judge Boyle did recommend the problem be addressed within the NBPA’s arbitration system. She noted that “each claim boils right down to Noels general complaint that Paul and [Klutch] breached obligations or duties owed to Noel due to the player-agent relationship that has been developed by the SPAC [Standard Player Agent Contract].”

And the SPAC states that “every disputes between your Player and the Agent relating to the meaning, interpretation, application, or enforcement of the Agreement or the obligations of the parties under this Agreement will be resolved exclusively through the Arbitration procedure established in Section 5 of the NBPA Regulations Governing Player Agents.”

Noel said in his lawsuit he rejected a four-year, $70 million contract extension from the Dallas Mavericks in 2017 at the behest of Paul, who was simply recruiting him to be represented by Klutch Sports.

At that time, Noel was represented by Happy Walters.

“Paul told Noel that when he terminated his relationship with Mr. Walters and signed with him instead, Paul would get him that ‘max deal.’ Within this, Paul advised Noel he should cease negotiations with Dallas, accept the single year qualifying offer, and seek a max deal on the free agent market the next season,” the lawsuit stated.

But no max deal came, and Noel instead signed a one-year, $4.1 million qualifying offer with the Mavericks in Aug. 2017.

In 2018, he signed a two-year. $3.75 million cope with the Oklahoma City Thunder that included a new player option for the next year, which he declined prior to the 2019-20 season. He instead signed a one-year, $1.9 million deal to come back to OKC.

Prior to the 2020-21 season, he signed a one-year, $5 million cope with the brand new York Knicks, and re-signed with NY on a three-year, $27 million deal the next offseason. The Knicks traded him to Detroit in July.

Throughout that group of one-year deals, Noel accused Paul in his lawsuit of failing woefully to take calls from the amount of teams who showed fascination with signing him, like the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019 and the Houston Rockets and LA Clippers in 2020.

In the four seasons after Noel rejected the Mavericks’ $70 million extension, he made $12.7 million, a standard lack of $57.3 million. Hence, the $58 million in damages he was seeking, alongside seeking “a declaratory judgment and monetary damages from Paul and Klutch Sports ‘in a quantity to be proven at trial,'” per The Athletic.

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