Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 7/1/13
The Clippers called point guard Chris Paul as soon as the free-agency period opened Sunday at 9:01 p.m., but nothing was agreed to that night, according to NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. But the officials said Paul is going to re-sign with the Clippers. The Clippers will offer Paul a maximum five-year deal worth 107.3 million. Paul, an unrestricted free agent, can't sign his contract until July 10 when the NBA lifts its moratorium on free-agent signings. The plan was for Doc Rivers, the Clippers' new coach and senior vice president of basketball operations, to represent the team by showing up at Paul's home right when the free-agency period opened, the NBA officials said. But Paul attended the BET awards show earlier Sunday and was unable to meet with Rivers. Paul will earn 18.7 million in the first year of his proposed new deal. Paul, who could have signed a maximum four-year deal for 79.7 million with another team, didn't talk to any other teams during the short process for him. Once the Clippers hired Rivers as coach, Paul had no intentions of leaving Los Angeles, the executives said. The Clippers also have interest in free-agent shooting guard Tony Allen, who played last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, the officials said. Allen, who made 3.3 million last season, probably will be seeking the full midlevel exception that starts at 5.1 million for the 2013-14 season. Allen played for Rivers when the Celtics won the 2008 NBA championship. O.J. Mayo, a shooting guard who opted out of his 4.2-million contract with the Dallas Mavericks, is also on the Clippers' radar. The representatives for Matt Barnes said that the Clippers reached out about their client Sunday night and that the two sides were trying to work on a deal. Eric Bledsoe has heard all the trade rumors regarding him. But for now, Bledsoe still is the backup point guard for the Clippers, playing behind Paul. Bledsoe said he hasn't heard from Rivers but expected to talk to his new coach soon. "I see people are calling about me," Bledsoe said in a telephone interview. "I can't worry about that trade stuff. I'm worried about getting better, man. That's all I care about." When Paul agrees to a contract, the Clippers essentially will have 10 players on their roster and a payroll of almost 63 million. -Broderick Turner
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