- Arash Markazi, ESPN Staff Writer
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That day, he verbally agreed to a five-year, $107 million extension with the team and tweeted, "I'M IN!!! #CLIPPERNATION"
Paul cannot officially sign his new contract until Wednesday but on Sunday he said the decision to stay with the Clippers wasn't a hard one after sitting down with his family.
"I'm excited," Paul told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "I'm excited about everything that's going on with the team. I talked to my wife about it because I told her it was going to be a family decision. We even let 'Little Chris' chime in on it. It's pretty cool to know where you're going to be and to know you're somewhere where you're wanted. The fans have been amazing. I told my wife I felt like a rookie all over again just because I'm excited about the unexpected."
Paul, who was hosting a celebrity poker tournament in Los Angeles on Sunday night to benefit his CP3 Foundation, decided not to make any trips or schedule any meetings with teams when free agency began.
"For me, I felt like if I knew where I wanted to be and what I was going to do, why take the time and waste those other teams' time and have them spending unnecessary money," Paul said. "We just wanted to be done with it."
Paul's wife, Jada, quickly embraced Los Angeles after Paul was traded to the Clippers 2½ years ago and said the family loves living in Southern California.
"I love it here," Jada said. "There's so much to do here. There are endless opportunities and activities, things I've never even heard of before we came here to do with the kids, it's become a warm welcome."
Those opportunities may even extend beyond Paul to his 4-year-old son Chris, who has become somewhat of a child celebrity with close to 100,000 followers on Instagram following his every move.
"It's unreal," Jada said of Little Chris' fame. "It's going to his head, too."
Paul's preference was always to remain in Los Angeles, but he admitted the Clippers' hiring of Doc Rivers made his decision to remain with the Clippers easier.
"I'm so excited to play for him," Paul said. "Words can't describe it. Doc is amazing. Everything that has happened doesn't automatically translate into wins but it gives you an opportunity to win so I'm excited about the process."
Paul was hesitant to elaborate on the moves the Clippers or other teams have made, keeping in mind the NBA moratorium rules that are in effect until July 10, but said he was encouraged with everything the Clippers have done so far this offseason.
The Clippers are expected to hold a news conference at their training facility on Wednesday where Paul and Rivers will address the media along with newcomers Jared Dudley, J.J. Redick and Darren Collison as well as returning players Matt Barnes and Ryan Hollins. That list could grow by Wednesday with the Clippers interested in signing Antawn Jamison and re-signing Ronny Turiaf.
Paul smiled when he thought about all the players that have taken less money this offseason to be a part of the team the Clippers are currently putting together. He cautioned that it doesn't necessarily mean anything but being a part of the Clippers' current culture change is a big reason he returned.
"It's a process," Paul said. "It's been fun to talk about basketball. Me and Blake [Griffin] have been texting and talking every day. It started with Blake. To have a guy as unselfish as he is and play the way that he does, I'm excited about playing together and I'm excited about what's to come."
28mMichael C. Wright