Zion Williamson, CAA Sued for $100M over Breach of Contract by Prime Sports

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2019

Duke's Zion Williamson arrives for the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Associated Press

Prime Sports Marketing is counter-suing future NBA player Zion Williamson.  

According to the Associated Press, the company is suing Williamson and the agency that represents him, CAA, for a breach of contract. That follows a report from AP last week that Williamson was suing Prime Sports Marketing and attempting to void his contract with the company.

Per the earlier report:

"Williamson announced April 15 he was leaving Duke after one season to enter the NBA draft. According to the lawsuit, the five-year contract he signed five days later with Prime Sports did not contain notice that he would lose his college eligibility upon signing, and did not contain a disclaimer allowing him 14 days to cancel. Both are required under the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agents Act."

Prime Sports Marketing's lawsuit countered that the company "was to receive 15 percent of compensation from Williamson's marketing deals. CAA eventually 'induced' Williamson to back out, telling his family CAA was 'better suited' and could secure more compensation on deals Prime Sports had pursued, according to the lawsuit."

The attorneys for the company's president, Gina Ford, have also claimed that the "foreseeable injuries, losses, damages and harm caused" by voiding the contract would cost the company $100 million.

But Williamson's attorney, Jeffrey S. Klein, said in a statement that the company "blatantly violated the North Carolina statute specifically designed to protect student-athletes," adding that Prime Sports Marketing's "continued threats against Mr. Williamson made necessary the filing of this lawsuit."

So, Williamson, who is the prohibitive favorite to be the top player selected by the New Orleans Pelicans in Thursday's NBA draft, is starting his professional career with a legal fight. And given that Williamson is one of the most hyped prospects in quite some time, a lot of money appears to be at stake for both sides in the dispute.