As crazy as it seems, Chris Paul is 30 years old and entering the tail end of his prime. He has two seasons left before he can opt out and become a free agent, and theoretically, if he stays healthy, he can get one more max-level deal before his career is up. But he’s making one thing clear going into his fifth season in Los Angeles: he wants to retire a Clipper.
He’s supremely confident in his place with the Clippers, the franchise where he says he wants to finish his career.
“Hell, I never imagined I’d leave New Orleans, but there’s no question this is where I want to be,” he said. “I want to win. Here.”
There’s no reason to believe that Paul would ever leave the Clippers at this point. He could have tried to get out during the Donald Sterling blowup, or when he was a free agent in 2013, following a first-round playoff loss to Memphis. As it stands, he’s going to have his number retired at Staples Center and probably be the first Clipper to get a statue outside the arena, too. The trade for him after Blake Griffin‘s rookie year made the Clippers legitimately relevant for the first time in franchise history. There’s no overstating what he’s done to change the culture of the team and put them on the map.