7:36pm: A tweet from ESPN’s Marc Spears says that, while Paul is expected to opt out, he hasn’t formally told the team or filed with the league at this point.
Paul, who recently turned 32, averaged 18.1 points and 9.2 assists in his 12th NBA season and is among the biggest names on the market this summer. While the Clippers will obviously look to retain him – and are the ‘overwhelming favorite‘ to do so – the veteran has also been linked to the Spurs (June 2 report) and, to a lesser extent, the Rockets and Nuggets (June 15 report).
The news of Paul’s decision comes shortly after it was announced that Blake Griffin, too, opted out of the final year of his own deal, effectively jump starting an inevitably busy offseason for Clippers president Doc Rivers.
Had Paul accepted his player option, he would have made $24.3MM this season. Now, under the new collective bargaining agreement, he’ll be eligible to make around $200MM over five years, so long as he stays with the Clippers.