It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly six years since the Clippers acquired Chris Paul in a blockbuster trade with the then New Orleans Hornets. Since acquiring Paul, the franchise has seen their most success. Paul has not only been the catalyst to the teams on court success, but he has also done wonders for the teams off court brand. A new logo, new owner, new fan base, and new colors have all stemmed from the franchises recent success, and that largely falls on Paul’s shoulders.
But, as most of you know. Paul will most likely opt out his final year of his contract to try and cash in one last time. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Spurs and Paul have mutual interest, but besides the obvious reason of an extra year and an additional $70 million, Paul would be foolish to not re-sign in LA.
Three Reasons Why He Should Re-Sign
- Paul is the franchises most important and recognizable player
Despite the Clippers being Paul’s second team, he has become synonymous with the Clippers’ franchise. When you think of Chris Paul, you think of the Clippers brand, and vice versa when you think of the Clippers. Paul has been the most successful Clippers player and is arguably the greatest player in franchise history. Barring a bad break up, a statue of Chris Paul outside the Staples Center is almost a guarantee.
- Future Success
The team has made the playoffs in all six of his seasons with the team. The team has shown the ability to play around him and compete as one of the best teams in the entire NBA. The majority of the team’s playoff failures has not been because of a lack of talent or chemistry, but rather some other sort of debacle. The last two seasons ended with Blake Griffin sidelined and in 2014 the franchise had to deal with the whole Donald Sterling fiasco. Since DeAndre Jordan and JJ Redick’s emergence as premier players in the league the team hasn’t been healthy. With Paul on the roster, the team’s ceiling is clearly higher than what they have achieved if they can stay healthy.
In a league where superstars change teams like a pre-teen changes girlfriends/boyfriends, it would say something about Paul’s brand to stay with the Clippers. NBA fans have shown a tendency to turn on players who willingly change teams. I’m not saying Paul should care about what fans think, but in terms of branding staying would only benefit him. Not only could he market the whole “I’m loyal” saying, but he could also do something no other player has ever done. Lead an LA-based basketball team not named the Lakers to a championship. LA would be his for the taking.
Spark Sports NBA Analyst