You’ve probably not heard too much about Rich Paul, as he is usually working behind the scenes to protect his players and provide for them the best options available in the sport’s industry. He is one of the biggest agents in the modern NBA, and recently gave out a warning for all basketball athletes in the league after the NBPA signed the new CBA this summer.
The message goes out mostly to players like James Harden, who remain apart from the Philadelphia franchise even though he’s still legally bound by contract, as he awaits for team president Daryl Morey to honor his latest trade request.
Former player Gilbert Arenas invited over the famous agent to appear in the most recent episode of the “Gil’s Arena” podcast, mostly to explain his views on the basketball business and how players should act accordingly to the newest CBA.
Check out this week’s complete episode of Arena’s show in the video below:
“You see a lot of guys working on their game,” Paul said. “But they better start working on their approach. They better start working on their professionalism because when the sh*t get bigger than the cat, they’re getting rid of the cat faster than ever before.”
Both the league and the NBPA came to an agreement over the latest CBA this year, as it finally became effective on July 1st. One of the most important new rules pertains to how players should respect their own contracts.
Last month, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst gave a thorough explanation about how the Sixers administration actually have the right to prevent Harden from becoming a free agent next year. It seems that if The Beard holds out for 30 days, the 76ers could legally bind him.
“I don’t think it’s that simple,” the expert said. “I don’t think it’s as easy for him to hold out because there is an obscure rule that exists buried in the NBA CBA that if he doesn’t report within 30 days of the opening of training camp, the Sixers actually have the right to block him from becoming a free agent next year. This is a measure that was put in to prevent these types of holdout situations, so Harden is holding a very limited amount of leverage.”
As for now, both Harden and Philadelphia are playing the waiting game as training camp approaches
It seems that the Philadelphia front office isn’t desperate for making any moves concerning their rebellious star James Harden, as they’ve entered some sort of waiting game during this past month of August.
“Both the Sixers and James Harden are waiting to see which one blinks first,” Sportskeeda reporter Mark Medina said. “In fairness, neither party has any urgency to do so. Harden has enjoyed overseas promotional tours. The Sixers haven’t received any offers that would keep them in championship contention.”
James Harden reaching the postseason has been inevitable 😤
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) September 5, 2023
The NBA insider believes that the veteran athlete will eventually break first because of the new CBA agreements.
“But expect one party to become antsy once training camp approaches. My hunch is that Harden blinks first since he would face financial consequences for not reporting to training camp,” Medina wrote.