On Friday, we did a story called Rich Paul Serves up a Heaping Platter of Horse Poop, and there was a key omission. We omitted the fact that Shams Charania is represented by United Talent Agency, which partnered with Klutch two years ago and formed a sports division. The head of that division is Rich Paul, so the two are linked together, even though Paul doesn’t directly represent Shams.
Therefore, the story in The Athletic with the “exclusive” Paul quotes wasn’t really a story, it was more of a glorified press release. An organized quote dump via two guys technically existing under the same umbrella.
Here’s a portion of the July, 2019 press release:
Leading talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA) today announced a significant investment in the powerhouse sports agency Klutch Sports Group, led by its founder and CEO Rich Paul. Marking a transformative new partnership, Klutch will continue to operate under its own brand and Paul will also become Head of UTA Sports, focusing on building UTA’s sports business for athletes in all their professional endeavors, on and off the field.
If you were uber-bored, you could go through Shams’ old tweets and see how much info he has on Klutch clients like LeBron, compared to Woj. There’s probably a pattern there. Various information brokers have stronger connections with specific groups.
The other thing that should have been mentioned Friday is this:
Rich Paul obviously has everything to gain from Ben Simmons leaving Philadelphia, but there’s more nuance to the saga.
First off, it would show he’s again able to “win” a stand off, by dragging both sides down into the deepest darkest recesses of hell. You’re in some shit once you get there, and at a certain point you don’t care how you win as long as you do win. That’s what Klutch is doing with this ridiculous exploitation of societal progress regarding mental health.
The other thing is something that hasn’t been discussed too much, and that’s money.
Rich Paul gets a cut of every contract his clients sign. I believe it’s somewhere between two and four percent these days. Ben Simmons is in year two of a five year max contract, so Rich Paul has basically made all of his money off Simmons and won’t profit again until Ben signs his next contract, which is a few years away.
Paul stands to benefit the most from another client, Tyrese Maxey, who is playing really well and will eventually be signing a big money deal of his own.
That’s the larger motivation here, and it all adds up to go something like this:
- Simmons wants out, so Paul tries to move him.
- Forcing a trade is a win for Paul, and he’ll fight dirty to make that happen.
- Simmons’ absence provides an opportunity for Tyrese Maxey to start on a good team.
- Maxey plays well and increases his market value.
- Maxey signs a big money deal.
- Paul profits.
That’s kind of the formula here. In basic terms, Paul benefits from having his clients spread out a bit, or at least not directly competing with each other. If there’s only so much pie to go around, Simmons blocking Maxey from consuming the said pie (preferably pecan) drops an artificial ceiling over a second client.
This all brings us back to the Jason Dumas report about Klutch wanting Maxey out of Philly. It was horse shit, and Dumas walked it back less than 48 hours later. There’s no benefit to Klutch pulling Tyrese out of town. There’s actually more of a benefit in keeping him here, because he’s in line for a beefy contract with Ben out of the picture and not limiting his minutes:
Moving Simmons and Maxey together creates the same pecan pie log jam that would exist if Ben rejoined the Sixers here in Philly.
Finally, everything I’ve heard in various discussions is that Tyrese Maxey really likes it here. He’s quickly become a fan favorite and seems to really “get” the city. He understands that all you have to do is play hard and work to improve your game, and then you’ve earned local trust for all of time and eternity. Somewhere in this is a win/win/win, where Ben gets his trade, the Sixers get adequate return, and Paul makes his money off a future Maxey contract while Philly continues to have him on their roster, playing great basketball.