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Rich Paul is more than an agent

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We have that and more in Thursday’s NBA newsletter.

Charlotte Hornets v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

Marc Stein of the New York Times broke the news that Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports is now a division within United Talent Agency, one of the biggest talent agencies in the world. Paul, who is a longtime friend of LeBron James and has a couple dozen NBA clients including Bron, Anthony Davis, and Draymond Green, got paid as UTA took some equity.

This isn’t the first time an NBA agent has been within a larger entertainment management company. CAA is the most prominent example of how this has worked. But the fact that Rich Paul became an agent to represent LeBron less than a decade ago and got to this point is a real testament to the fact that he’s not just an up-jumped hanger-on like many cynics snidely argue. The dude knows what he is doing.

Honestly, Paul is one of the biggest NBA success stories of the past decade. Kudos to him for taking a lane and redefining sports agency.

OK-CP3

It looks like the Thunder aren’t having much success trading Chris Paul right now, which makes sense because almost half of the league has changed teams (and is thus ineligible to be traded) this summer. So the Thunder expect to have CP3 running point this season.

Is this a problem? Only if you think the Thunder’s own 2020 pick is its most valuable asset. The 2020 NBA draft is purported to be bad anyway, and lottery reform has severely reduced the need to be truly awful to get a high pick. It’ll be interesting to see how competitive the Thunder will be, and how many games CP3 will play. OKC vs. Houston will be a must-watch for multiple reasons, given this twist.

Links

Vijay Vemu presents the complete history of the dismantling of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s golden generation.

Awesome project: the stories behind the most iconic sports commercials.

Breaking down R.J. Barrett’s Summer League offense.

Kevin O’Connor makes the case for the importance of the Jerami Grant trade for the Nuggets.

Zhaire Smith is the key to unlocking the Sixers.

I don’t know what an actual Clippers vs. Lakers rivalry will look like, because those teams have never been contenders at the same time. But I do remember the Kings vs. Lakers rivalry, and I’m glad to see Anthony Davis has made himself disliked by Sacramentans!

Be excellent to each other.