Chris Paul Wants Clippers to Play With Griffin
The Clippers know that Paul is unlikely to sign an extension with any team that trades for him because the rules in place in the NBA’s new labor agreement make it more advantageous for top stars to play the season out and then sign a longer deal in free agency, even if they’re staying with the same team. But sources told ESPN.com that the Clippers merely want Paul to pick up the 2012-13 option in his contract at the time of the trade — thus delaying his free agency by one year — if they’re going to give up one of their two most prized trade assets for Paul: Eric Gordon or Minnesota’s unprotected No. 1 pick in 2012.
In a similar situation in February, Mo Williams agreed to pick up his option for the 2011-12 season to clinch the Clippers’ deal with Cleveland that swapped Williams for Baron Davis. Sources say that the Clippers — if Paul agrees to do the same — would be willing to reverse their previous stance and send either Gordon or the Minnesota pick to the Hornets because they’d know that Paul would be in place next to Griffin for at least two seasons, removing the threat of trading for Paul and then watching him leave in free agency in July.