Clippers 'very confident' Chris Paul will return after first-round exit

Tuesday May 7th, 2013

Chris Paul will become an unrestricted free agent this July. (Joe Murphy/Getty Images) Chris Paul will become an unrestricted free agent this July. (Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Clippers are "very confident" that free agent to-be Chris Paul will re-sign with the team despite its disappointing, first-round exit in the NBA Playoffs.

"The No. 1 priority for us right now has to be re-signing our star player, Chris Paul," Clippers vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks told reporters, according to "That's our goal, that's what we want to do. We want to put ourselves in a position to do that. We feel this organization is in a position to move forward with that goal in mind. It's always difficult, it's never easy, but we feel confident we can be successful."

Paul will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and he will be among the most sought-after names on the open market. He will be eligible to sign a five-year, $107.3 million extension after July 1.

If Paul signs with another team in free agency, he would be eligible for a four-year, $79.7 million contract. That means Paul would be leaving $27.6 million on the table to sign elsewhere. The Clippers were ousted from the playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies in six games, in a series that included four straight losses to end Los Angeles' season. In exit interviews, Paul sounded noncommittal about his future with the Clippers.

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