Clippers owner Donald Sterling has signed veteran point guard Chris Paul to a new contract worth $25 million per season with the Los Angeles Clippers, the team announced Thursday.
The deal is the first guaranteed deal for Paul, who will become the first player to have an NBA career-high five-year, $75 million contract, according to ESPN.
It’s also the first $25-million extension for Paul since his rookie season with New York, where he played for six seasons.
The Clippers have been reluctant to move Paul, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year who will turn 29 on Dec. 31.
The Clippers also have several other players under contract, including DeAndre Jordan, Paul Pierce, Chris Kaman and Danny Granger.
They have the right to match any offer for those players.NBA teams have long tried to sign free agents with a three-year contract that is guaranteed, but the league has tightened restrictions and tightened up the rules for how they can negotiate with free agents, which includes restrictions on players not playing more than 30 games in a season.
In the past, teams have had to work hard to sign marquee players, like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, to five- or six-year contracts, but in the past few years, teams like the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have gotten much more aggressive in trying to get marquee players to sign long-term deals.
The new deal for Clippers players is a first for the franchise.
Paul, the franchise’s leading scorer, averaged 25.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 32.3 minutes per game last season, which ranked ninth in the league among players with at least 1,000 minutes.
The first-year player, a 6-foot-8 center from Duke, averaged 13.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
He also played for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup of Basketball last month.
Paul will make $25.5 million over the first three years of the deal, according the team.
He will make an additional $3.75 million in the fourth year.
He is eligible for $7 million of the $11.25 million salary cap, according a source with knowledge of the contract.
The contract will be signed on Friday and becomes guaranteed on Dec