Initially, Paul expressed his infatuation with the team- something, of course, that any team captain would do in training camp: "...It's no secret. Everyone knows I love it here. I love our team. I love everything that's going on." Nice words for Clippers fans to hear, certainly, but nothing concrete regarding an extension next summer.
When asked more directly about next off-season, Chris Paul was ambiguous, dodging and half-answering questions. "For me, I just try not to think about it. I feel like I have so much going on on a daily basis that I can't think about what's going to happen at the end of the season. Right now, I'm focuses on getting my thumb healthy and getting our team chemistry right and what's going on in our season... It's not time for that."
Pressing the issue, one reporter asked Paul what would happen on July 1st.
"July 1st? I don't know. July 1st. What's that, the first day of free agency?"
Obviously, that's not what's on the recent Olympic Gold Medalist's mind.
Also asked about the distractions that accompany an expiring superstar (see Howard, Dwight and Anthony, Carmelo), Paul commented on his own experience: "I sort of went through one of those the year before last in New Orleans."
Paul, however, assured reporters that there would be no distractions this time, saying "Been there, done that. For me, I don't pay much attention to it. I wouldn't even have thought about that today until you asked me the question. I think that says a lot about our team, about everything that's going on around here. We don't focus on that."
"We" is a loose term. I'm certain that front office personnel are focusing on that every hour of every day.
But, one thing is safe to assume at this point- Chris Paul won't be fueling the fire this season. He won't be asking for a trade, and there won't be any distractions so long as he can help it.