Paul officially staying with Clips

3:21 AM, Jul 10, 2013   |    comments
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Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - It's official. Chris Paul will remain with the Los Angeles Clippers.

As soon as the NBA's free agency period started on July 1, he announced via Twitter, "I'M IN!!! #ClipperNation."

His contract was then finalized just after the NBA's signing period for free agents and trades was lifted Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. ET. Paul posted a picture on Instagram signing his deal, which is through the 2017-18 season. He'll reportedly receive the maximum five-year, $107 million maximum contract extension.

It was widely understood among NBA circles that Paul would re-sign with the Clippers, who acquired the 28-year-old in a trade with the then New Orleans Hornets in December of 2011, once the team was able to work out a deal with the Boston Celtics to bring in Doc Rivers as its new head coach.

Rivers was believed to be Paul's preferred choice to replace Vinny Del Negro, who did not have his contract renewed despite guiding the long-struggling Clippers to a franchise-record 56 victories and a first-ever Pacific Division title in 2012-13. Los Angeles was defeated by Memphis in six games in the opening round of the Western Conference Playoffs, however.

Paul has certainly had a significant impact on that recent turnaround as well, with the Clippers posting the two highest winning percentages in team history since he took over as the team's point guard.

The six-time All-Star has also led the NBA in steals per game in each of his two seasons with Los Angeles, and was named the West's Player of the Month after leading the Clips to a perfect 16-0 record this past December.

Paul averaged 16.9 points, 9.7 assists and 2.4 steals over 70 regular-season games in 2012-13. For his career, the North Carolina native has averaged 18.6 points. 9.8 assists and 2.4 steals over eight seasons with the Hornets and Clippers.

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