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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Clippers reportedly expect Chris Paul to demand full max in free agency

Chris Paul

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul may be looking to become Chri$$$ Paul this coming offseason.

According to a report by Zach Lowe of ESPN on Thursday, the Clippers expect Paul, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, to demand the full five-year max (or whatever the longest possible deal winds up being in the revised CBA) to remain with the team.

Paul, who has a $24.2 million player option for 2017-18 that he would be wise to turn down, is still an elite NBA point guard, even at the age of 31. Whatever he’s lost in quickness and athleticism, he’s made up for with his basketball IQ, his evolution into a midrange assassin, and his much-improved three-point shooting (perhaps due to this procedure he underwent this past summer).

There’s definitely precedent for pure point guards continuing to perform at a high level well into their mid-30s (see: Stockton, John and Kidd, Jason). But it would still be a delicate balancing act for the Clippers to commit to a five-year max for Paul as they also have to worry about Blake Griffin, who can become a free agent in 2017 as well, and JJ Redick, who will hit free agency regardless.

With a sizable chunk of cash going to DeAndre Jordan, Austin Rivers, and Jamal Crawford over the next couple of years and alarmingly few valuable young assets at their disposal, the Clippers may find it difficult to retain all of their core guys while still staying competitive in the West going forward.

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