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Paul agrees to four-year, $68 million deal

Chris Paul completed his contract negotiations with the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday, agreeing to a four-year extension worth $68 million, said Paul’s agent, Lance Young. The final season of the contract is at Paul’s option.

Paul, who met with Hornets officials on Wednesday, is expected to sign the contract Thursday evening.

The Hornets offered Paul a five-year extension worth approximately $87 million, the maximum allowed, but the All-Star point guard opted for a shorter contract – an approach LeBron James and Dwyane Wade previously took when they signed extensions to their rookie contracts. Paul will now have the ability to become a free agent in the summer of 2012, giving him leverage to ensure the Hornets commit to maintaining a championship-contending team.