Clippers officially re-sign Chris Paul to five-year contract
The Clippers officially re-signed unrestricted free agent point guard Chris Paul on Wednesday.
Less than one hour after the NBA’s moratorium on agreements was lifted, the Clippers posted a photograph to Twitter that showed Paul, with his son in tow, signing his new contract. NBA teams and players could communicate, negotiate and reach agreement on deals starting on July 1, but contracts and trades could not be officially consummated until July 10.
“Done Deal,” Paul tweeted. “God is so good. Clipper Nation.”
Paul, 28, will reportedly receive a five-year, $107 million deal after averaging 16.9 points, 9.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals last season. The six-time All-Star was selected to the 2012-13 All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive First Team, but the Clippers were bounced in the first round of the 2013 playoffs by the Grizzlies following their first division title in franchise history.
After locking up All-Star forward Blake Griffin to a five-year contract extension last summer, the Clippers’ top priority has been re-signing Paul. Coach Vinny Del Negro was let go back in May and the organization sent a first-round pick to the Celtics so that coach Doc Rivers would be let out of his contract and allowed to sign on with the Clippers. Management also issued a statement taking responsibility for Del Negro’s departure, as Paul was reportedly unhappy that he was being blamed for the decision.
Per the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, Paul was allowed to sign a five-year contract with the Clippers or a four-year contract with any outside suitors. CBSSports.com reported that Paul’s deal has an opt-out clause after the fourth year.
The Clippers have also agreed to sign or trade for J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes, Darren Collison and Ryan Hollins.
Paul was either the No. 1 or No. 2 available free agent in this year’s class, depending on how you feel about Lakers unrestricted free agent center Dwight Howard. Retaining him was a no-brainer for the Clippers, and the only real question here is how Paul’s surgically-repaired knee will hold up over the course of the deal. Paul missed 12 games and played a career-low 33.4 minutes per game last season, and a five-year extension will carry him through his age-32 season. There’s no guarantee that Paul will make it to the end of his deal in full health but that risk is barely worth a second thought to the Clippers, who have seen Paul transform their status as a perennial also-ran into a fringe championship contender during his two seasons in L.A.
For Paul, this was a similarly easy decision. He’s exerted significant influence on player personnel moves, he’s been handed one of the league’s most respected coaches in Rivers and he is surrounded by a veteran-dominated rotation that’s in position to make noise in the playoffs. No obvious alternative suitor emerged in recent months and it’s long been assumed that he would re-sign in L.A.