According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Clippers held a meeting today with Chris Paul and his agents to discuss the future:
Sources: Chris Paul and his agents met with Clippers officials today, discussed future. They'll talk again soon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 27, 2017
Woj did not provide details of what exactly the meeting was about, but there are a few obvious guesses. Paul is an unrestricted free agent and will be able to meet with teams around the league beginning on July 1st. He could potentially leave the Clippers after six seasons with the team—not coincidentally, the best six-season run in franchise history.
For a player of Paul’s caliber, free agency negotiations can involve more than just contract details. He likely wants some level of assurance regarding the roster that the Clippers will build around him in the years to come. It would not surprise me if one of the things that the team has discussed with him is which players he wants them to target in free agency or a trade.
Furthermore, Paul is eligible for a no-trade clause, an exceptionally valuable detail for a family man and businessman like CP3 who is definitely not interested in being dealt to Milwaukee in a mid-season swap three years from now. It severely limits the Clippers’ options going forward, but that is the price you pay for mega-stars.
It’s also feasible that the sides could have discussed money. Last summer, both Paul and Blake Griffin were both open to the idea of taking paycuts to add a superstar like Kevin Durant. While no player of Durant’s caliber is on the market this summer, it’s possible that Paul and the Clippers will prefer an agreement that is either shorter or cheaper than the 5-year, $205 million maximum contract. This could make another big-time addition possible down the line.
The Clippers are still the heavy favorites to re-sign Paul, and it seems like with these pre-free agency meetings they are attempting to reach an understanding that would allow for an immediate resolution on July 1st.