“I’M IN!!! #CLIPPERNATION,” Paul, an unrestricted free agent, said today in a Twitter post, hours after free agents were allowed to begin contract talks. Deals can’t be completed until July 10.
Paul, 28, agreed on a five-year, $107 million contract extension, ESPN reported, citing Paul’s agent, Leon Rose. Paul can opt out of the deal after the fourth year, which would make him a free agent again in 2017, according to CBSSports.com.
A six-time All-Star, Paul played his last two years with the Clippers after six seasons with the New Orleans/Oklahoma City franchise. He averaged 16.9 points and 9.7 assists per game last season as the Clippers went 56-26 to win their division for the first time in franchise history, which dates back to 1970-71.
The Clippers were beaten four games to two by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Paul’s return became more probable last week when Los Angeles traded a 2015 unprotected first-round draft pick to obtain coach Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics. Paul had urged Clippers management to bring in Rivers as a successor to the fired Vinny del Negro, Yahoo Sports reported, citing unidentified people.
A five-time league leader in steals, Paul’s 9.8 career assists per game ranks highest among active NBA players. He finished fourth in voting for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award last season.
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