Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports
Lonzo Ball is leaving Roc Nation and has chosen Rich Paul of Klutch Sports as his new agent, he told ESPN’s Malika Andrews. This will be Ball’s third change in representation since April 2019, when he left his original agent, Harrison Gaines, to join CAA. In June 2020, months after top CAA agent Leon Rose left to run the New York Knicks, Ball and his brothers, LaMelo and LiAngelo, all signed with Roc Nation. Now, less than three months later, Ball is joining Klutch Sports in order to take more control of his career.
“I wanted to lead my career,” Ball told Andrews. “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.”
There’s quite a bit of irony in Ball’s decision given Paul’s history. Paul also represents Anthony Davis, whose trade demand and push to join the Lakers specifically is what landed Ball with the New Orleans Pelicans in the first place. Paul has a reputation for acting aggressively in pursuit of his clients’ best interests. Trade rumors have swirled around Ball since his struggles in the Orlando bubble, and Ball is eligible for a contract extension this offseason.
If he has any intention of uniting with younger brother LaMelo, considered one of the top prospects in this draft class, he hasn’t signaled it with this move. His brothers, for the time being, remain with Roc Nation, and Lonzo specifically mentioned the absence of his family in New Orleans as a driver of his push for greater independence in his career. “Me being in New Orleans, I have no family out there,” Ball said. “It kind of put me on my own for the first time in my life.”
But any player changing representation three times in such a short span, particularly one with Ball’s history and stature, should raise eyebrows. Ball clearly wants to assert some sort of control over this next stage of his career. What exactly that means is yet to be determined.