Evans Clinchy
Friday February 24th, 2012

When Chris Paul landed in Los Angeles this past December, traded from the New Orleans Hornets to the Clippers in a preseason blockbuster, he had one year left on his contract and a big decision to make about his future. Now, he says, that decision is a done deal -- he wants to pick up his option and stay for another season.

"[The decision] didn't take long," Paul said today in an interview with Jim Rome. "It didn't take long at all. When you go to play somewhere for a season, it always helps to be around good people. Blake Griffin definitely changed the culture around here, and DeAndre Jordan, this is a great group of guys. Not only is basketball going well, but this is a great group of guys."

Paul has quickly vaulted the Clippers into the national spotlight -- a laughingstock last season, the Clips are now atop the Pacific Division at 20-11, regarded as a serious threat to represent the West in the NBA Finals. Paul is averaging 19.2 points, 8.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game and making a real case for his first MVP. The Clips currently have Paul under a max contract, making $17.8 million this season. Next year, they'll be shelling out even more.

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