Chris Paul Must Remain with L.A. Clippers to Cement Superstar Legacy

Alex KayCorrespondent IMay 20, 2013

Apr 30, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) during the Clippers loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in game five of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Paul is going to have the freedom to choose whichever team has the means to sign him as an unrestricted free agent this summer, but he would be wise to remain with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The superstar point guard has just begun forging his legacy with his current club and would only be setting himself—and his chances of winning a championship—back by uprooting and playing for another organization.

While the Clips experienced severe disappointment in the form of a first-round playoff exit after six grueling games against the Memphis Grizzlies, it’s simply not time for CP3 to abandon ship.

One of the main reasons why L.A. has struggled so much is due to its inexperienced and overmatched coach, Vinny Del Negro.

The talented players on the Clips’ roster—including Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford and others—simply deserve better. Because Del Negro’s contract is set to expire this offseason, he could conceivably be easily be replaced by a more capable candidate.

The latest buzz, as per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein, indicates that VDN may return for another rodeo, but it would behoove Paul—for not only himself, but also his teammates’ sake—to recommend the franchise go in another direction.

Fortunately, the 28-year-old has plenty of say within the organization at this juncture. ESPN Los Angeles’ Arash Markazi is reporting that the Clippers brass will ultimately make the decision, but Paul and Griffin will be consulted before the final verdict is in.

If CP3 can persuade owner Donald Sterling to bring in a more playoff-hardened head coach to help guide this young squad on a deep run, his Clips will be in great shape as early as next season.

With big names like Phil Jackson and Jerry Sloan potentially available, it would be downright insane for this team—which is right on the cusp of contending for the Western Conference crown—to remain loyal to Del Negro.

Paul has only been in L.A. for two years and made a pair of solid forays into the postseason during that time period. He’s completely revitalized one of the worst clubs in basketball and brought the Clippers some modicum of respectability.

Now he has to remain with the organization to see them through to a title, which could be right around the corner—assuming there is a coaching change this offseason.