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Point guard Chris Paul reportedly told the Los Angeles Clippers he will decline the player option on his contract and become an unrestricted free agent, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
According to ESPN.com, Paul will wait until the last possible day he can to officially opt out of his deal (June 29) but still plans on doing so, which will make him and Griffin free agents on July 1.
Paul is 32 years old and has never advanced past the second round of the NBA playoffs, but he is still one of the best point guards of his generation. He won the 2005-06 Rookie of the Year and is a nine-time All-Star and an eight-time member of an All-NBA team, four of which were first teams.
He led the Clippers to the postseason all six years he has been with the team and played the role of the facilitator in the Lob City approach, consistently finding Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in transition and taking some of the city’s attention away from the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Wake Forest product tallied 18.1 points, 9.2 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game in 2016-17 behind a career-best 41.1 percent shooting clip from three-point range.
Whether Paul stays with the Clippers or signs elsewhere, he is still talented enough to guide a team to the postseason as a dynamic two-way playmaker. His ultimate destination will be one of the primary storylines of the NBA offseason.