Chris Paul's representatives have told teams not to even bother pursuing the point guard when free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. ET Monday because he will re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to league sources.
The news of Paul's likely re-signing is a relief to Clippers fans, many of whom thought Paul could try his hand in the free agent market this summer. The Clippers just brought in former Celtics coach Doc Rivers, and return all of the key components of a team that won the Pacific Division and finished fourth in the Western Conference last season. As Clips Nation writes, there were plenty of reasons for Paul to stay:
Living in LA even gives Paul endorsement opportunities that he didn't use to have. Does "Cliff Paul" ever exist and make him buckets of extra money in a small market? I don't think so.
The Clippers can also give Paul a longer, more lucrative contract than any other team in the league with his bird rights. So why would he leave around $20M on the table, and lost millions more in endorsements, to leave an amazing city.
The most obvious reason that Chris Paul was staying, though, was because he's currently the best player on a very good basketball team that's only getting better. He's playing alongside an All-Star Starter and All-NBA power forward in Blake Griffin, and the rest of the supporting cast is pretty admirable (even if they played poorly in the playoffs).
Paul is a six-time All-Star and three-time first team All-NBA selection, and was named Most Valuable Player of the 2013 All-Star Game. He averaged 16.9 points and 9.7 assists per game in 2013, his second season in Los Angeles. He has led the league in steals five times, including last season, and has made two consecutive All-NBA Defensive teams.