Report: Clippers concerned about Chris Paul leaving to sign with Spurs
Some early NBA free agency rumors from what should be an insane summer of opt-outs and max contracts are already flying, and the Los Angeles Clippers are apparently taking one of them seriously.
ESPN’s Mark Stein reports that the Clippers are legitimately concerned about the possibility of Chris Paul signing with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Clippers, I'm told, take the threat of a Spurs free-agent pursuit of Chris Paul very seriously despite SA's current lack of cap space.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 26, 2017
When Paul opts out of the final year of his contract, the Clippers will be able to sign him to a max deal worth $205 million over five years. That’s about $50 million more than any other team could offer him, so L.A. certainly has an advantage when it comes to money.
However, Paul recently turned 32 and is still searching for his first NBA title. If he thinks the Spurs are closer to winning a championship than the Clippers, he may decide it is not all about the money.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his podcast recently that there is “mutual interest” between Paul and the Spurs. The problem for San Antonio would be clearing enough cap space, though Paul would become a stronger possibility if Tony Parker — whose salary for next season is about $15 million — decides to retire in the wake of the serious injury he just suffered.
Blake Griffin is also set to become an unrestricted free agent, so you can understand why the Clippers might be on edge. Despite a report we heard a few months back, it could become more likely that Griffin leaves if Paul decides to move on.