Paul is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract to test free agency. There, he could either re-sign with the Clippers for a lucrative five-year, $210 million deal or sign for no more than four years at $153.5 million with another team.
That’s $60 million and an extra year of employment Paul would leave on the table if he headed elsewhere. The normal human being would find the dotted line and sign it in blood in a heartbeat, especially one that negotiated a salary bump for players in his age bracket as National Basketball Players Association president.
But CP3 may crave more than just cash and security. He wants a championship more than anything. And if it’s not coming in Los Angeles, ESPN’s Zach Lowe says another potential suitor for Paul’s services is none other than the vaunted San Antonio Spurs.
Before I knew there was mutual interest between Paul and the Spurs, I knew how much sense it made for him to go there. My response to anyone asking me what he’ll do this offseason was consistently “Spurs.” So I’m not surprised by the latest headlines.
Chris Paul in San Antonio was always a dream combination of mine: if it wasn’t for Chris Paul, I’d be a Spurs fan, they fit the style of play I enjoy, as well as their attitude of being silent but deadly. I love the way Popovich plays chess against his opponents. It’s never a fair fight. The intricate way he thinks about the game matches the similar mind of Paul. The stability that team would offer Paul in his later years is key, more than money. He has money, now he needs a ring.
“I can’t see him walking away from $200+ million though”
He’s not walking away from $200 million. He’s walking away from 50 million (compared to what other teams can give him). It’s still a lot, but is that the cost of a championship? If so, Paul, I’m sure, thinks that’s a fair trade. At this stage of his career, money isn’t the dragon he’s trying to slay, the ring is. This free agency is his last chance to get that.
Most people aren’t scrutinized the way Paul is for not getting out of the second round. It’s a joke now when you mention Paul and the playoffs. He’s also a guy that has a chip on his shoulder, as he still thinks he’s the best point guard in the league—but he can’t prove that with the Clippers anymore. They’re too limited. And the clock is ticking for him, louder than it ever has.