Originally posted on StraitPinkie.com  |  Last updated 7/1/13
After a very quick first-round exit from this year’s playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers knew they had some major work to do. For one season at least, they were the best team in Los Angeles. The Lakers may not take back that title for a few years now that Chris Paul has inked a new 5-year/$107 million deal. The Clippers’ roster is way too talented to be sent home in the first round of the playoffs, and Paul has agreed to be the franchise player they build around. To escalate the Clippers in the west, the organization knew it was imperative to sign Paul to a new deal. The deal between Paul and the Clippers is just verbal until July 10th, then everything will be official. Paul took to his Twitter account to say “I’m in. Clippernation”. Sources have said that Paul never intended to leave Los Angeles, but did entertain the idea of going to Atlanta with Dwight Howard. The Lakers and Howard are currently going through a messy divorce as he enters free agency. Paul will instead stay with former #1 draft pick Blake Griffin, who signed a 5-year/$95 million extension last summer. The hiring of Doc Rivers as head coach and senior VP of basketball operations further sealed the deal for Paul to stay in L.A. With Chris Paul verbally agreeing to sign on the dotted line, one has to wonder what will happen to back-up point guard Eric Bledsoe. The former Kentucky guard has been in trade talks all summer long, especially when Boston was calling for Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers. Bledsoe’s impending trade from the Clippers is not because they want to get rid of him, they just won’t be able to afford him. Bledsoe has only grown since entering the league in 2010, and looks to be ready for a starting point guard position somewhere in the league. Blesdoe has earned and deserves a starting spot, and the money that comes along with that title. With Chris Paul on board, look for the Clippers to continue shopping Bledsoe.
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