Rich Paul may not be an NBA player, but his name is well known in NBA circles. One of LeBron’s best buddies is also one of the high-profiled agents and the face of the Klutch Sports Organization that represents, of course, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, and numerous other NBA players.
Recently Paul has been involved in a lawsuit, as his former client Nerlens Noel sued him for being responsible for Noel missing out on $58M. The situation dating back a few years ago when Noel rejected a 4-year/$70M deal from the Mavericks, only to flop in the offseason. This controversy has led to some scrutiny around Rich Paul’s name, who has had a good reputation in the past.
But another name had things to say, as NBA Hall-of-Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley, known for his non-filtered style, shared criticism towards Paul and Klutch Sports for their way of doing business. Charles was referring to the Anthony Davis situation in which he forced his way out of New Orleans and demanded to be traded to the Lakers and nowhere else:
“You know how that group works. They try to trade their players to where they want to. Anthony Davis, they had better deals from Boston, and maybe even New York. They’re like ‘No, He’s gonna play with LeBron or he’s not gonna play.’ They just bullied the league. A team got to stand up & say, ‘I paid your guy. You can’t bully me to trade him & me take some trash back.’ I’m hoping somebody in the Sixers organization got some stones.”Charles Barkley,via The Mike Missanelli Show
The way AD exited New Orleans was ugly, but at least the Pelicans got a pretty fair trade package in the end. The same could not be said for the 76ers, who are desperately trying to find a good enough trade partner for Ben Simmons, another Klutch Sports player. Simmons has expressed his interest in playing for three Californian teams (Lakers, Clippers, and Warriors).
Obviously, Simmons wants to stay on the big stage and remain relevant due to his “celebrity” status. But realistically, none of these teams is a good fit or has the assets to give the Sixers a fair package back. But Simmons and Paul could easily use the same strategy like with Anthony Davis, waiting it out and eventually forcing a trade to one of those teams, with the Sixers getting the short end of the stick. It’s definitely possible and not fair, as it centralizes the league and eliminates the value of contracts. As Charles said, I hope the Sixers show some backbone and sit him out if necessary until they find a satisfactory trade package.