Nerlens Noel has a new agent.
Maybe now he’ll get a new contract.
The 23-year-old center is finally making moves after spending nearly two months on the restricted free-agent market, opting to hire Rich Paul of Klutch Sports as his new representation, per Basketball Insiders’ Michael Scotto:
Nerlens Noel has hired agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports for representation, @BBallInsiders has learned.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) August 21, 2017
Noel’s reasoning isn’t quite clear, but we can infer an awful lot. Plenty of people misread the market this summer, and if that miscalculation is part of why he remains unsigned, it makes sense that he would seek out a change. And it’s hardly a coincidence this move comes shortly after the Dallas Mavericks signed center Jeff Withey. He doesn’t render Noel expendable, but when the primary, if only, team you’re negotiating with grabs another big, urgency starts to set in.
As for what this means on the contract front, we don’t really know. Maybe Noel hammers out an agreement with the Mavericks or another team very soon. Perhaps he signs his qualifying offer, plays out next year and re-enters the market as an unrestricted free agent next summer. We don’t know.
This late into the process, with an agent change already under your belt, everything is on the table.