Report: J.R. Smith hiring LeBron James’ agent, Rich Paul

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The players union is enforcing a rule that bans agents from representing players and management.

But what if a player is the de facto general manager?

J.R. Smith – who plays for LeBron James‘ Cavaliers – is testing the rule’s limits.

Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

Smith is in the process of parting ways with Creative Artists Agency and plans to sign with Rich Paul of Cleveland-based Klutch Sports, league sources informed cleveland.com.

Paul, of course, represents LeBron (and Tristan Thompson, who got a fat deal with Cleveland after holding out last year). Paul is reportedly selling potential clients on getting paid by the Cavs.

Smith’s only mistake was not hiring Paul sooner.

Hiring CAA, who were in deep with the Knicks, probably helped Smith get a more lucrative contract in New York (and one for his brother). But the agency did Smith no favors in Cleveland. Smith opted out last summer and wound up with what most would consider to be a worse deal.

Smith has another player option this summer. With Paul and LeBron on his side, Smith will have more leverage this time.

At least if LeBron stays.