To hardly anyone's surprise, All-Star point guard
He went on his @CP3 Twitter account early Monday to announce his return, saying, "I'm IN!!!#CLIPPERSNATION."
Leon Rose, Paul's agent, confirmed that his client had verbally agreed to a new contract with the Clippers for five years and $107.3 million, the maximum the team could offer. Paul, 28, has an opt-out clause after the fourth season.
Paul will earn $18.8 million in the first season of his contract, which he can't sign until the
With Paul saying he's in the fold, the Clippers turned their attention to other free agents and possible trade scenarios.
Doc Rivers, the Clippers' new coach and senior vice president of basketball operations, and Gary Sacks, the team's vice president of basketball operations, were on the phone Sunday night and Monday talking to representatives of free agents
The Clippers also are interested in guards
Redick, a 39% shooter from three-point range in his career, made $6.1 million last year playing for Orlando and Milwaukee. Mayo, who averaged 15.3 points for Dallas last season, opted out of his contract that would have paid him $4.2 million next season with the Mavericks.
Redick and Mayo are expected to visit with the Clippers soon, the executives said.
Landry, a power forward who averaged 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds with
The Clippers have the midlevel exception of $5.15 million to use on a free agent — or they can split it on two players.
The Clippers have also revived talks with the
Free-agent shooting guard
Allen, one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, played the last three seasons in Memphis. He also played for Rivers on the
As for Paul, various NBA executives said it was considered a mere formality for him to remain with the Clippers once Rivers was hired. Paul didn't even talk to any other teams when the free-agency period began at 9:01 p.m. Sunday.
Paul has played a major role in helping to change the culture with the Clippers, making it a destination for players. Last year he helped recruit
With Paul leading the way, the Clippers last season won their first Pacific Division title, had a franchise-best 56-26 record and had a franchise-record 17-game winning streak.
He also helped the Clippers reach the playoffs in consecutive seasons. Paul, who won the most-valuable-player award at the All-Star game in February, averaged 16.9 points, 9.7 assists and an NBA-best 2.4 steals last season.
And now he will be back for at least four more seasons.