- The Lakers have re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a three-year $40M deal.
- KCP is represented by Klutch Sports, which also handles Montrezl Harrell.
- Klutch Sports founder Rich Paul is also the agent of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Los Angeles Lakers have pulled off some of the biggest moves in the offseason so far. First, they bagged Dennis Schroder from the rebuilding OKC Thunder. Then they stole Montrezl Harrell from their Staples Center rival Clippers. Now the Purple and Gold have re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
It’s still early in the offseason but Rob Pelinka is looking like the best General Manager in the league right now. But don’t give all the credit to Pelinka. While he’s been wheeling and dealing on paper, there is a guy who has been delivering talents to the Lakers- Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. Paul is the agent of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He is also the agent of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and just last year, he also began representing Montrezl Harrell.
Lakers fan boys are praising Rob Pelinka, we find this comical. Rich Paul is the de facto GM, doing the bidding for LeBron James. Montrezl Harrell is the latest #NBA player to be used as a pawn of Klutch Sports.
— Ben Maller (@benmaller) November 21, 2020
Now that you’ve seen the connection, you will have to agree with me that Paul is the Lakers’ MVP so far this offseason. Not only has he helped bring James to Los Angeles, he has also helped them with AD’s contract. Now, he’s added Harrell and KCP to his Lakers portfolio. Players make decisions alright but agents help iron out the kinks and help seal the deals so the Lakers need to give this man the offseason MVP award.
The Klutch Lakers going for another championship this year.
Who’s next? https://t.co/Q66ka06Hlq
— LA Sports Radio (@LASportsRadio) November 22, 2020
In July 2019, Harrell joined Klutch Sports for his upcoming free agency. It can be recalled that Rich Paul helped Harrell sign his first ever NBA contract with the Houston Rockets. Harrell had previously been represented by Bobby Petriella of Rosenhaus Sports but with a big decision to make after the 2019-20 NBA season, Trez went with the hottest agency in the profession.
Meanwhile, Paul rejected a five-year $80M contract for Kentavious Caldwell Pope in 2017, back when KCP was still with the Pistons. Instead, Paul delivered KCP to the Lakers for a one-year deal worth $18M. He landed KCP another single-season deal worth $12M with the Lakers in 2018 before signing a discounted two-year deal worth $16.5M in 2019. Now, Paul has delivered KCP to the Lakers for an average salary of $13.33M.
He is also expected to deliver the biggest contract of Anthony Davis’ career. The Brow is also an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He has committed to returning to the Lakers to run back their championship run but Paul is in no hurry to commit his client to the Purple and Gold yet. Davis and Paul are reportedly waiting to see how the Lakers fill up their roster before deciding on how long he wants to stay in Los Angeles.
There’s no question that the future of the Lakers depends largely on Anthony Davis. LeBron James will be 36 years old during the 2020-21 season and despite how great he still looks physically, father time is going to catch up with him soon. Meanwhile, Davis is only 27 years old and may not even be at the peak of his powers. AD is the key to the Lakers but then Rich Paul is the key to Anthony Davis. You can’t get more powerful than that, really.
Who is Rich Paul?
Rich Paul’s rise to NBA power:
? Sold jerseys out of his trunk in Cleveland
? Got @KingJames a Magic Johnson throwback
? Hired by LBJ in 2003
? Founded @KlutchSports in 2012
? Reps Bron, AD, Simmons, more
? Repped six players on 2020 Lakers
(via @Chris_Broussard) pic.twitter.com/id11hNgors
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 18, 2020
Rich Paul is one of the most powerful sports agents today. The 38-year old from Cleveland Ohio founded Klutch Sports and is the head of UTA’s Sports Division. As of Forbes’ 2019 agents list, he has negotiated over $800M in active deals for players like LeBron James, John Wall, and Anthony Davis. You can add AD’s next contract with the Lakers to his tally.
Aside from those three All-Stars, Paul also represents 33 other NBA players including Trae Young, Draymond Green, Ben Simmons, Jusuf Nurkic, Dejounte Murray, Jordan Clarkson, Eric Bledsoe, Mikal Bridges, Tristan Thompson, Nerlens Noel, Dion Waiters, and Mitchell Robinson. Of course, he is also the agent of newly added Lakers pieces Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell Pope.
Paul’s dramatic rise to the top of the sports agency world has been dramatic and it all began with a meeting with LeBron James back when the latter was still in high school. Paul was just starting his throwback jersey business when ran into James at the airport. After several deals, they became friends. When James was drafted by the Cavs in 2004, he hired Paul for a $500K job as a glorified personal assistant. He later became James’ agent and later, his agent. Now Paul owns Klutch Sports.
This offseason, Paul has delivered again. He inked 2020 no. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards to Klutch Sports before securing contracts for his wards. Mitchell Robinson got his guarantee from the Knicks while Nerlens Noel, Tristan Thompson, and Jordan Clarkson have inked deals within the first week of free agency. And yes, don’t forget that he delivered Trez Harrell and KCP to the Lakers.