As free agency in the NBA gets set to open at midnight Eastern, one of the top names has taken himself off the market — not that it comes as any surprise.
Chris Paul will re-sign with the Clippers, according to a report from Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.
Paul’s representatives have told teams “not to even bother pursuing” the All-Star point guard, because, as has been believed to be the case all along, he is going to sign a max contract to stay in Los Angeles.
The Clippers did their best to botch things where Paul was concerned, but in the end, the moves they pulled off ultimately made Paul’s decision to stay an easy one.
When L.A. parted ways with head coach Vinny Del Negro, it was leaked from within the organization by ownership that Paul was the one who had made the call in one way or another, and Del Negro himself hinted at the same.
This had Paul reportedly angry that he was taking the fall for the team letting a coach go that led the club to a franchise-record 56 regular season wins, so the Clippers had to publicly respond to the report, absolving Paul of any involvement.
And you thought the Lakers’ billboard campaign asking Dwight Howard to stay was embarrassing.
Despite all of that, the bold move the Clippers made by replacing Del Negro with Doc Rivers was big-time, and solidified the organization’s commitment to winning in Paul’s eyes.
Assuming Paul signs for the max, he’ll receive a five-year deal from the Clippers worth in the neighborhood of $107 million.