There have been rumors that the Clippers might break up their core if they don’t make a long playoff run, but that apparently won’t apply to Chris Paul, writes Mitch Lawrence of Forbes. Paul is in line for a five-year extension this summer worth more than $200MM, and an unidentified source tells Lawrence, “It’s all done, with a wink and a nod.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard a report along these lines. Back in February, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders wrote that Paul and the Clippers had a “verbal agreement” in place for a new long-term contract. As we noted at the time, a verbal agreement isn’t binding, so even if such an arrangement is in place, the Clippers and CP3 are free to change course in the coming months. Paul won’t be able to officially sign a new five-year deal until July 6.
Paul, 31, is expected to turn down a player option for next season worth $24.27MM and seek a long-term contract that could be his last in the NBA. The nine-time All-Star led the Clippers to the No. 4 spot in the West with another stellar season, averaging 18.1 points and 9.2 assists over 61 games. Paul has been with the Clippers for the past six seasons.
L.A. is facing an offseason in which Paul and Blake Griffin are each expected to opt out, joining fellow starter J.J. Redick on the free agent market. There have been concerns about whether the Clippers can afford to bring all of them back, particularly if the season ends with another playoff disappointment.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.