It's hard to believe that Chris Paul is already entering his fifth year with the Los Angeles Clippers, but it's true. The 30-year-old played in all 82 regular season games for the first time in his career a season ago, and has shown very few signs that he'll start slowing down any time soon.
Though CP3 famously grew tired of playoff shortcomings after six years in New Orleans, he's made it clear that this won't be the case with the Clippers. Per Dan Woike of the OC Register, Paul has hinted that he plans to be a Clipper for life:
"Hell, I never imagined I’d leave New Orleans, but there’s no question this is where I want to be," he said. "I want to win. Here."
Paul is almost single-handedly responsible for yanking the LAC franchise out of the NBA's doldrums, so this is music to the ears of Steve Ballmer and Clipper fans everywhere. He's currently under contract through 2016-17 with a player option for the 2017-18 season, meaning he could hit the free agent market when he's either 32 or 33. Assuming he's able to stay relatively injury-free, CP3 has the kind of cerebral game that should age well, so he could be in for one more big-money deal before he hangs them up.
All three members of the Clippers' "big three" (Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, of course, being the others) are able to become free agents in 2018. The clock is ticking, but the core is still young enough to where it shouldn't be unreasonable to expect annual championship contention. Let's hope CP3 is a part of it for the duration of his career.