Granted, it’s a long shot. But don’t count out All-Star point guard Chris Paul signing with the Spurs as a free agent this summer.
Citing league sources, ESPN senior writer Marc Stein reported Friday morning that Paul intends to seriously consider joining the Silver and Black if he decides to leave the Los Angeles Clippers after six seasons.
Paul is “intrigued” by the idea of teaming with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, Stein reported.
The NBA free agency period begins July 1. Sources around the league have said the Clippers are taking the threat of losing Paul to the Spurs seriously, and already are formulating a plan to re-sign him.
The Clippers are favored to re-sign Paul, since they can offer him a five-year, $205 million contract. The Spurs could offer him only a four-year $152 million max contract. Saddled with little salary-cap flexibility, San Antonio would have to break up its roster to free up money to make Paul a competitive offer.
Paul, who turned 32 last month, has played 12 seasons in the NBA. He began his career in 2005 with the New Orleans Hornets, who selected him with the fourth overall pick in the NBA draft that summer. The Hornets traded Paul to the Clippers on Dec. 14, 2011.
A nine-time All-Star, Paul has averaged 18.7 points, 9.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 35.5 minutes in his career. He averaged 18.1 points, 9.2 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals this season.
Paul has made the All-NBA Team eight times, including four selections to the first team. He also has been named to the All-Defensive Team eight times. He has made the All-Defensive First Team six times.
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