Rich Paul has been LeBron James' agent since 2012. Since then, he's brought huge names like Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and John Wall into his clientele. Because of his non-traditional agent background—Paul famously did not earn a bachelor's degree, and drew from his experience at CAA from 2006-2012 before founding his own agency—he represents the changing dynamic of NBA agents. In many ways, Paul's success is revolutionary. It's changing how business is conducted in the NBA, almost certainly for the better.
Earlier this week, the NCAA announced that it was amending its rule regarding agents and college basketball prospects considering entering the draft. As recently as two years ago, if a college player signed an agent to explore professional basketball opportunities, they had to forfeit their eligibility. However, after a good amount of public pressure, the NCAA began allowing players to sign with agents and still be able to return to school if they didn't get the information they were hoping for during the NBA Draft process.
Now, the NCAA has attempted to clarify that rule, listing specific requirements for those agents: That they must have a bachelor's degree, that they need to have been registered with the NBAPA for three years and pass an exam. Many players and basketball insiders immediately interpreted that rule as one that targeted Paul, or rather, the next Rich Paul. It's a measure meant to limit the number of agents approaching clients, to keep the power within the hands of the traditional agencies. Rich Paul won't be affected.
But maybe the next class of NBA agents won't be, either.