Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul plans to talk to the Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets, in addition to the San Antonio Spurs, when he turns free agent in the summer. Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported that part of Paul’s plan is to talk to other Western Conference squads, such as the Rockets, Spurs and Nuggets. Paul, an 11-year veteran, is expected to opt out of his contract this summer and test the free-agent market.

If he stays with the Clippers, the 32-year-old Paul can demand a maximum five-year contract worth in excess of $200 million. He will earn less if he moves to another team but a change in scenery could work for Paul, who has failed to lead the Clippers past the Western Conference Semifinals in the last six seasons.

Spurs interested in Paul as Tony Parker’s replacement

Earlier, the Spurs were reported to be interested in pursuing Paul in the summer with their veteran playmaker Tony Parker still out with a ruptured tendon. San Antonio’s backup point guard Patty Mills will also become a free agent and could ask for a huge contract, which the Spurs may not be able to give out.

The Spurs can create cap space to meet Paul’s huge salary. Manu Ginobili’s $14 million salary will come off the books next season, giving the Spurs around $20 million in cap space. If he will not opt out of his deal, Paul will earn $24.3 million in his final year with the Clippers. Paul could also be interested in playing alongside James Harden, who almost averaged a triple-double in the regular season while playing point guard for the Rockets.

Paul could also look into the Nuggets’ potential for next season but they are a longshot to land the veteran point guard.

Jerry West joins Clippers as consultant

Jerry West confirmed that he accepted the job as consultant with the Clippers after working as a member of the Golden State Warriors’ executive board for six years.

According to West, he was enticed to join the Clippers due to his closeness with team owners Steve Ballmer and Dennis Wong as well as coach Doc Rivers, who is also the team’s president of basketball operations, During their meeting, West said he was impressed by the vision of the Clippers’ front office, spearheaded by Rivers and Lawrence Frank, the executive vice president of basketball operations.

One of the challenges that West may face is how to keep Paul and power forward Blake Griffin with the Clippers. Like Paul, Griffin can ask for a maximum five-year deal worth in excess of $200 million.

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