5 Steps LA Clippers Must Take to Convince Chris Paul to Stay

Ehran Khan@@ekhansworldContributor IIIJuly 20, 2012

5 Steps LA Clippers Must Take to Convince Chris Paul to Stay

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    Without Chris Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers would most likely have been picking in the lottery yet again in last month’s NBA Draft.

    That’s why it’s imperative that the Clips hang on to Paul—who’s due to become a free agent after next season—for the long haul.

    Here are five steps that the organization must take to keep CP3 in a Clippers uniform past 2013.

1. Fire Vinny Del Negro

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    It's another variation of the everlasting chicken/egg conundrum. 

    Did Vinny Del Negro emerge from the firestorm and suddenly become a good enough coach to lead his team to the second round of the playoffs?

    Or was it the underlying talent of the players on the roster who succeeded in spite of an overmatched head coach?

    I lean towards the latter explanation, and perhaps CP3 does too, after seeing how VDN had no offensive plan other than to place the entire burden of getting baskets on Paul's shoulders.

2. Hire a Competent GM

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    If we establish the premise that Vinny Del Negro needs to get better at being a head coach, it makes zero sense to have him responsible for making personnel decisions as part of a three-headed....what's the opposite of a monster?

    Along with Andy Roeser and Gary Sacks, Del Negro seems like he's on a mission to coach the oldest roster in the NBA next season.

    A superstar who's unsure of his situation needs a GM who can come in and lay out a plan. Look how quickly Danny Ferry changed Josh Smith's mind about wanting to leave Atlanta (via Sports illustrated). 

    The Clippers need to find a replacement for Neil Olshey, who the Clips mistakenly let go in the offseason. 

3. Get Paul Some Help

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    In a way, the Clippers have already started the process of doing so. Adding Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford and Grant Hill, in addition to bringing back Chauncey Billups, gives the Clippers additional scoring and play-making threats to ease Paul's offensive burden.

    The problem is that the average age of those four guys at the end of next season will be 35.5, making their acquisitions an extremely short-term solution. 

    So while they may help Paul a great deal this year, CP3 may look at his teammates at season's end and feel the urge to get out of town before the locker room turns into a modified NBA retirement home.

4. Make a Deep Playoff Run

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    To a fiery competitor like Chris Paul, competing for championships takes precedent over all else when deciding where to play.

    If the Clippers make another deep playoff push in 2013, it will be hard for Paul to leave when he's the leader of a team on the doorstep of a title.

    With a roster full of veteran talent, LA is poised to make such a run this postseason.

5. Offer Paul a Max Deal

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    If the Clippers come close to winning a championship this season, all they need to do to seal the deal with Paul is offer him max money.

    This offseason, the Clips showed that they're prepared to commit to star players financially when they offered Blake Griffin a max contract. 

    Though Paul has thus far declined to ink an extension, it will be near impossible for him to walk away from both a healthy pile of extra cash and a team on the cusp of winning a championship.