Nerlens Noel had a four-year, $70 million deal on the table with the Dallas Mavericks in 2017. He didn’t take it.
Instead, Noel went with a qualifying offer of around $4.1 million. His plan was to play for the Mavericks, prove his worth, and then hit the market with a highly-valued skill set. That never happened, as an injury derailed his plan.
Noel signed for just over $4 million. When he signed, he was with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. Paul also represents players like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Trae Young, and Draymond Green.
After Paul got on Noel’s good side, claiming he was a $100-million player, the center changed his representation to Klutch Sports Group.
“This all allegedly went down at Simmons’ birthday party in Los Angeles, where Paul was sitting next to Noel during the dinner portion of the event. Following the party, Noel parted ways with Walters and signed a Standard Player Agent Contract (SPAC) with Paul,” Darren Heitner of SportsAgentBlog wrote.
These allegations are serious.
“Noel claims breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligence. The lawsuit doesn’t cite a specific amount of damages but asks for actual and punitive relief,” ESPN’ Brian Windhorst wrote.
Noel recently signed a three-year, $27 million with the New York Knicks. The 6-foot-11 former top-10pick hasn’t lived up to the expectations that he came out of Kentucky with, but his high impact while on the court is still there.
A max contract always seems like a long shot, and Noel should’ve known that. However, for the first three seasons of his career, he averaged over a block and steal per game. His defensive ability is rare.
Noel played just 30 games after signing that $4 million deal. That crushed his value as teams had to also gauge his injury potential in any contract. Noel, at the end of the day, is putting this on Klutch.
There’s reason to believe he could win this lawsuit, one being filed in Dallas, Texas. Noel parted ways with Klutch back in December, so the relationship has been terminated since inking his new deal.