Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks

Nerlens Noel backs down, settles lawsuit against Klutch Sports

More than a year after filing a $58 million lawsuit against his former agent Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, Nerlens Noel is the one paying up.

In August of 2021, Nerlens Noel filed a lawsuit against Rich Paul and Klutch Sports alleging that Paul had essentially made no effort represent him in securing reasonable contracts over multiple offseasons, costing him as much as $58 million in career earnings. According to the lawsuit, multiple teams attempted to contact Paul to negotiate for Noel’s services but were unable to reach him (per Darren Heitner):

“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.

Noel says that he later learned that representatives from the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers wanted to discuss opportunities with Paul, but that they could not make contact.”

We’ve heard very little since the lawsuit was filed but today Shams Charania reported that the lawsuit had been settled with Noel paying a commission to Paul on a contract Noel says he negotiated on his own and withdrawing all further claims.

It’s not clear what exactly led to the settlement but this has to be considered an enormous loss for Noel. Not only did he not recoup any of the earnings he says Paul cost him, but he’ll actually be paying Paul a commission on a $5 million deal.

Noel is currently a member of the Detroit Pistons and has been frequently mentioned as a trade target for several teams. His contract has a team option for next season at just under $10 million.

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