According to multiple reports, Chris Paul is expected to sign a five-year deal worth $107 million with the Los Angeles Clippers. The significance of this transaction can’t be overstated.
Paul’s re-signing is undoubtedly the most important move in the Clippers otherwise woeful history.
The move will enable the team to keep the quarterback of its multi-faceted attack. He has the ability to make shots from anywhere on the court, whether it is in the paint or from downtown. He also has the capacity to distribute the ball like few others can. As one of the best point guards in the NBA he makes the Clippers instant contenders. Paired with Blake Griffin, who uses his athleticism to his advantage and the passing ability of Paul makes it extremely difficult to defend in the open court and why the team is nicknamed “Lob City“.
Bringing back their point guard was a top priority as he has managed to completely turn around the culture of the Clippers. For years, the Clippers were a laughingstock in the NBA, a past including only seven playoff appearances over 40 years dating back to when the team were the Buffalo Braves and the San Diego Clippers. Bad drafting had left the team in constant rebuilding mode prior to the trade that brought Paul to the team.
Two back-to-back playoff appearances showed that there was potential with the new-look Clippers. There was a new found confidence in the team. Effort and discipline were the norm, not apathy. A player like Paul is a warrior and hates losing. His reputation as a player who has an intense desire to win shines every time he is on the court.
That passion and intensity has rubbed off on the others to make an entity that longtime fans didn’t recognize but love. The free agency period threatened to break the team up so the Clippers had to do whatever it took to keep him.
One step was firing head coach Vinny Del Negro. Although it was never said publicly, it was implied that Del Negro didn’t make adjustments and was out-coached. The team had gone as far as it could go with him. A change was needed to keep Paul.
The last step was hiring a stud coach.
Doc Rivers being named head coach—and Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations—convinced Paul to resign with the team. Rivers’ pedigree includes two NBA Finals appearances, highlighted by a NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2008. He was able to get Boston to within one game of the NBA Finals with a team that was past its prime.
A coach with that type of ability giving instructions to Lob City should send fear throughout the NBA. Resigning CP3 also will ensure that the Clippers remain the hot ticket in town.
As Magic Johnson said last season, they are the closest thing to the “Showtime” Lakers as anything there has been in a long time. The energy and excitement of Lob City is a stark contrast to the old and tired Lakers who have been overshadowing them for so long.
That time is now dead and gone.
With a youthful energy and new attitude, Paul can guide the Clippers to heights that few would have ever dreamed of.