All-Star Point Guard Chris Paul to Remain with Los Angeles Clippers

By Brian Neal

All-Star free agent Chris Paul has reportedly told league sources that other teams should not bother trying to sign him because he wants to stay with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to ESPN. The NBA free agency period is set to start at 12:01 a.m. ET Monday, July 1.

Paul, the former-New Orleans Hornet (now Pelicans, which is still ridiculous), would have been a free agent for the first time in his career — he signed an extension while in New Orleans — but he will not test the market. Some say that isn’t the route to go, especially from a business point-of-view because you may not get as much money. However, I say this is definitely the right move for CP3.

Lob City is the perfect place for the five-time All-NBA selection, and for many reasons.

The first reason, and maybe the most influential in Paul’s decision, is newly acquired head coach Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics. Rivers, a former NBA point guard, is one of the most dynamic coaches in all the league, and certainly is a step up from Vinny Del Negro, no offense, Vinny.

Another major reason, of course, has to be playing with Blake Griffin. Now lately, I’ve heard some negative things about Griffin and I’m not sure why. Some people are down on him. Yes, his shooting ability leaves something to desire, and his talent — or lack thereof — from the free throw line is well-documented, but his upside is so tremendous. He’s only just turned 24 years old back in March. At this point, most of his talent is his pure athleticism, but he will improve technically and intellectually with time; he’s not even in his prime yet.

One more huge reason is the opportunity they have to build around Paul and Griffin this offseason and next. In 2013’s offseason, the Clippers are looking at about $15 million or so in cap space. They also have two players in DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe, who could very well be strong trade bait to bring in some other, more experienced players. Of course, if they sit still and wait a year, they would have the potential in 2014 to sign one of the marquee names that will be available then, as well. So, there are plenty of opportunities in the immediate that can give Paul a legitimate team to contend with for years.

All of these reasons, and probably more, make Paul’s decision to shoo away potential buyers all the more logical, and just plain smart.

The Clippers have never been a true contender, but their future is looking brighter than ever.

Brian Neal is an intern at Rant Sports and senior mass communications major at Lewis University. Follow him on Twitter @brianneal23 and “Like” him on Facebook.

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