Rich Paul Hates 1 NBA Team, Doesn’t Want Clients Going There?

Rich Paul Hates 1 NBA Team, Doesn’t Want Clients Going There?

Rich Paul has spent the last decade quietly becoming arguably the most powerful agent in the sport of basketball.

Many of the NBA’s biggest names are under Paul’s ‘Klutch’ umbrella and have been for some time.

Earlier this year, when Zach LaVine’s list of four teams he was willing to go to dropped – it was clear that all those front offices had a good relationship with Paul.

Conversely, the one team LaVine had no interest in apparently wasn’t on that ‘no-go’ list by coincidence.

According to Ian Begley of SNY, there is one team that Paul doesn’t like and isn’t particularly keen on sending his clients to: the New York Knicks.

Dejounte Murray’s up-in-the-air status with the Atlanta Hawks has thrust the complicated dynamic between Paul and the Knicks to the forefront of the NBA world.

“The Knicks can put that kind of package together,” Begley wrote.

“But for New York, there is an additional hurdle in a potential Murray trade. Murray is represented by Rich Paul and Klutch Sports Group. The New York Daily News reported in 2022 that Klutch opposed a trade of client Zach LaVine to the Knicks. That dynamic is still present today.

“I’m told that Paul remains reluctant to do business with the Knicks, who are led by team president Leon Rose and executive vice president William Wesley. Rose was a top agent at CAA before he took over the Knicks; Wesley was a consultant for the agency before he joined Rose in New York.”

That said, certain stipulations do seem to apply here.

“Now, if Murray wanted specifically to play for the Knicks, Paul wouldn’t stand in the way,” Begley continued.

“He’d facilitate the move. That applies to any Klutch client. But unless a player requests a move to New York, Paul is reluctant to deal with the Knicks. Why is that? The Daily News’ report cites the perception that the Knicks favor CAA clients. SNY could not independently confirm that.

“Whatever the reasons are, there is a potential path forward for both the Knicks and Klutch. I’m told that Klutch would consider changing its current stance if there is an in-person meeting between Paul and the Knicks, presumably including Rose and Wesley.

“Until and unless the two sides meet in person, the Klutch-Knicks Cold War will remain in place.”

It will be interesting to see how this dynamic ultimately plays out.

There is a reason Begley is suddenly writing this story. Clearly Murray has some level of interest in New York, and obviously Paul wants his beef with the Knicks dealt with in order for an agreement to be reached.

Will Paul and the Knicks’ front office ultimately be able to get on the same page in 2024? Time will tell.

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Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.
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