Paul set to become unrestricted free agent with Clippers hoping he will re-sign.
Los Angeles Clippers vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks says he is confident that star point guard Chris Paul will re-sign with the franchise this off-season.
The 28-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but is eligible to sign a five-year, $108m extension after July 1, with the Clippers increasing the length of their proposed deal after Paul rejected a three-year extension last year.
“The No.1 priority for us right now has to be re-signing our star player, Chris Paul,” Sacks told reporters as quoted by ESPN.
“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,” he added.
Paul was in inspired form across the season, leading the Clippers into the NBA Playoffs first round, before suffering defeat at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies.
It was a disappointing end to a successful regular season, where he also clinched the NBA All-Star MVP award back in February with his sparkling display in Houston.
However, there are big question marks over his future and whether or not he will return to the Staples Center to help the Clippers improve on this year’s performance.
“I’m going to take my time. I haven’t even thought about it. I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do the rest of the day,” Paul told the media in his season exit interview on Saturday.
The organisation also have a huge decision to make regarding their coach, with Vinny Del Negro’s deal expiring this summer.
Having led the Clippers to a club-record 56 victories and their first Pacific Division title this season, Del Negro came up short against the Grizzlies in six games in the opening round of the Playoffs.
However, as revealed by Sacks, both Paul and Blake Griffin amongst others will have an important role to play in whether or not he is handed a new deal, and Del Negro is accepting of that fact.
“We want to have feedback from our players to hear what they have to say,” Sacks said. “Whatever we do, we do as an organization. Of course you’re going to listen to your star players. You’re going to listen to all your employees when you’re making these decisions but I don’t think that’s unusual.”
The Clippers face an important period as they build for the future, whether or not Paul or Del Negro feature in that future remains to be seen.