Rich Paul Rumors
Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News on 97.5 The Fanatic: I just got off the phone with somebody who I really trust in the NBA, and he’s like there’s no way his agent is going to let him play this year. That’s an injury that you don’t mess around with, and he thinks he’s going to keep him off his feet all year.
Can’t blame him. But can’t blame the Cavs — who are waaaay over the luxury tax threshold, at more than $114 million — for wanting to go slow. Cleveland is a repeater tax team, and as such would have to pay more than $4 in tax for every dollar in salary it pays Smith next season. So it’s a bit of a conundrum. Paul “always wants to win the deal,” says the executive of another team that’s negotiated with/against him in the past.
Rich Paul purchased a $3 million summer home in Los Angeles recently, becoming the third member of LeBron James’ inner circle to buy a house out there in the last year. But you can still expect to see Paul in his usual seat, courtside at The Q, for most of the Cavs’ 41 home games. Paul, 34, who is James’ agent and founder of Klutch Sports agency, which represents multiple NBA players including the Cavs’ Tristan Thompson, bought a 3,900-square-foot new home in the Beverly Grove area of Los Angeles.
A source close to Paul said the Cleveland native will “continue to live in and operate out of” his hometown, and he bought the L.A. house because “increasingly, his clients, in addition to LeBron, are spending summers in Los Angeles.” James spent most of July, August, and September living and working out of his Brentwood estate. Thompson, the Raptors’ Cory Joseph, and Washington’s John Wall — all Paul clients — have also spent large chunks of their summers in southern California. So has Ben Simmons, a Paul client who was drafted first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in June. Paul, who wants a place to live while his clients are out there, attended workouts recently in L.A. featuring James, Simmons, Dwyane Wade (not a Paul client) and others.
“I know you guys are going to ask me about my contract situation,” Smith said. “You’ve got my agent’s number so you all can call him. Rich Paul. You all know what it is. Klutch. You dig?” Paul has a reputation for being a tough negotiator. Last off-season, he dragged conversations between the Cavs and Thompson into October before Thompson agreed on a five-year deal worth $82 million.
Smith, 30, the free-agent sharpshooter who is expected to re-sign with the Cavaliers to defend the 2016 NBA championship, married Jewel Harris in a ceremony outside of New York City in New Jersey, near his childhood home. Harris is the mother of his two daughters, Demi and Peyton, and the wedding was attended by several Cavs personnel – including general manager David Griffin and starting center Tristan Thompson, and Smith’s agent Rich Paul.
James is one of several members of the Cavs from last season’s championship team that remain unsigned, including J.R. Smith and head coach Tyronn Lue. James is currently traveling and spending time with family. He will meet with agent Rich Paul and go over his contract options at some point but there is no rush, sources said.