The Los Angeles Clippers face a potentially roster-altering offseason. After a disappointing exit in the first round of the NBA Playoffs at the hands of the Utah Jazz, the Clippers are staring at the free agency of starter J.J. Redick along with the expected free agency of stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, who both hold player options for next season. While there were indications earlier in the year that at the very least, the team’s star point guard would be back, the tide seems to be changing somewhat as we draw nearer to free agency.
A new report from ESPN’s Marc Stein indicates that Paul has shown interest in joining the San Antonio Spurs if he decides to leave the Clippers.
As stated above, Paul has a player option for the 2017-2018 season for a little more than $24 million that he is expected to decline in search of a larger contract. Due to new CBA rules, he is eligible for a five-year $210 million deal from the Clippers, while other teams (like the Spurs) can only offer a maximum of four years and around $160 million. Obviously, there’s a large gap there in the monetary value between the two options. The Clippers are hoping that extra year and $50 million will give them enough of an edge to keep Paul in the fold.
That said, this current core of Clippers players hasn’t made it past the second round of the playoffs during Paul’s tenure. In fact, in his career, Paul hasn’t made it past the conference semifinals. With most of the Western Conference, and the league for that matter, chasing the “super-team” in the Bay Area, Paul could decide that teaming up with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge in San Antonio would give him a better shot at winning than staying in L.A. Either way, this is shaping up to be a more nerve-wracking summer than Clippers fans expected just a few months ago.