Lonzo Ball Signs with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports; LaVar Ball Speaks on Decision

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans' Lonzo Ball (2) makes his way down the court during an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball has signed with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.

Paul will be Ball's fourth agent since he joined the NBA in 2017, beginning with family friend Harrison Gaines as well as stops at Creative Artists Agency and Roc Nation.

"I wanted to lead my career," Ball told Andrews of his latest decision. "Picking my own representation—just solely as my decision—was step one in that process. For me, it was an easy call, and it was the right time to make that call."

His father, LaVar Ball, had previously played a significant role in his career both at UCLA and with the Los Angeles Lakers, including starting the Big Baller Brand shoe company that outfitted Lonzo in his first few seasons. However, he wasn't involved in the decision this time around.

"He's always been his own man," LaVar said of Lonzo. "As a father, all I can do is guide him. I'm not going to take a lesser role. I am going to be his father, and that's it."

Even signing with Roc Nation last April was considered a "family decision," with brothers LaMelo and LiAngelo also signing with the organization, per Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

LaMelo Ball is expected to be one of the top picks of the 2020 NBA draft.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Lonzo is now branching away from the family, including getting space from his father.

"I think coming into the league, he was very controlling of everything that was going on," Lonzo said. "But that was an 18-, 19-year-old kid. But now I am 22 years old with my own family. Seeing how he watched over me and stuff—it was time for him to finally let go of everything and watch me be my own man."

Signing with Paul is also notable, as the Klutch Sports agent represents both LeBron James and Anthony Davis and helped both get to the Lakers. Ball played alongside James and was part of the return in the trade for Davis.

Paul also represents high-profile players like John Wall, Ben Simmons and Draymond Green.

Ball has one more year under his rookie contract and is eligible for an extension this offseason. He will be a restricted free agent in 2021 if he does not sign a new deal.