ESPN’s Chris Broussard confirmed early on Sunday that Paul’s representatives told teams that he will be re-signing with the Clippers once free agency begins. He will likely sign soon after free agency begins on Monday.
Even though Paul is staying in Lob City, the team still has some work to do. They finished with a 56-26 record last season, but lost in six games to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs.
There has already been a big change in the organization with the signing of Doc Rivers as the team’s new head coach. Still, there are likely to be some other changes now that Paul is staying.
The big thing to talk about now is the current situation with Eric Bledsoe, the backup point guard. He’s become a hot commodity recently, and several teams are interested in trading for him.
The report claims that the Magic would be willing to trade Arron Afflalo to the Clippers. This would be a nice trade for both teams, since the Clippers could use a shooting guard and the Magic need a strong starting point guard.
The move makes even more sense now that Paul has re-signed and the Magic have drafted the Victor Oladipo, the shooting guard out of Indiana.
As far as Dwight Howard and Paul playing together, it’s safe to say that situation is now highly unlikely at this point. According to ESPNLosAngeles.com, Howard will be meeting with the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers once free agency begins.
Had Paul not stayed with the Clippers, these two playing together could have been a very real possibility. Instead, the two are going to be playing separately with the hopes that they can lead their respective teams to the NBA Finals.
The signing also means that the Clippers won’t be able to sign any other big names. With a team salary next season of around $46 million prior to the Paul signing, it’s unlikely that this team will have much cap space once Paul gets his deal.
Based off of Paul’s previous contract of four years for around $63 million, it’s safe to assume that this contract will be around that much money, if not more.
Free agents are probably out of the question, leaving the front office to try and work on building a championship team around Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Trading Bledsoe could produce a key piece or two, especially if the Raptors and Magic are both extremely interested in him. The Clippers need wing players that can shoot along with some more depth to be considered a top-tier team, and trading Bledsoe could very well produce just that.
The Clippers bringing Paul back not only has ramifications for the team, but it also impacts the rest of the NBA. Lob City will once again have one of the best players in the league, and you can expect one thing next year:
A lot of dunks.