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Clips working on Eric Gordon extension

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Clippers general manager Neil Olshey has maintained since the lockout unofficially ended last month that he had three primary pieces of business to take care of this offseason.

First on that list was matching DeAndre Jordan's sure-to-come offer sheet as a restricted free agent, which the Clippers officially did Monday night when they equaled Golden State's four-year, $43-million deal. Second was upgrading the small forward spot, which they did last week when they signed Caron Butler to a three-year, $24-million deal.

Now comes the third part: negotiating a contract extension with guard Eric Gordon and agent Rob Pelinka.

The fourth-year player is eligible to sign a rookie-scale extension any time between now and Jan. 25. If no deal is reached by then, Gordon will become a restricted free agent next summer and the Clippers would likely have to match a substantial offer from another team to retain him.

"Rob and I have been talking," Olshey said Tuesday at the Clippers' media day at the team's practice facility. "We haven't talked substantively, in terms of numbers. But we've had a lot of things we had to flesh out.

"He knows Eric's a priority. He also knows that because of the accelerated process of free agency we needed to handle our business first and look at our roster composition before we look at that."

The five-month NBA lockout officially ended Friday, when teams were allowed to consummate deals that had been worked out in the week-plus prior to that. While trying to work with New Orleans on a trade for All-Star point guard Chris Paul, the Clippers signed Butler that day and then claimed point guard Chauncey Billups off waivers on Monday after the New York Knicks used the amnesty clause in the league's new collective bargaining agreement to release him.

Shortly afterward, they officially matched Jordan's offer sheet from Golden State and moved on to working with Gordon and Pelinka.

The seventh overall pick in the 2008 draft out of Indiana, Gordon emerged into an elite scorer for the Clippers in the 2010-11 season. Playing alongside forward Blake Griffin, he would have finished 13th in the NBA in scoring at 22.3 points per game if the 56 games he played in qualified him for the league-leaders list.

Gordon turns 23 on Christmas Day, also the day of the 2011-12 season opener. For his part, he says he can't see himself anywhere other than L.A. -- despite the fact that he was included in the trade talks with New Orleans in the potential deal for Paul.

"I've always looked forward to being on this team," Gordon said Tuesday. "We have a great team.

"I wouldn't leave here at all. I wouldn't think about it."

The Clippers have precisely six weeks from Wednesday to work out the deal with Pelinka, who also represents Chris Kaman and former Clipper Corey Maggette and Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden -- as well as Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and 2011 No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams.

Olshey, who previously worked for prominent NBA agent Arn Tellem, has had a long working relationship with Pelinka. Olshey said Gordon is aware the two sides are "working towards" a deal in the immediate future.

"It's all gonna work out," he said. "It's gonna be fine."

Longtime team president Andy Roeser was similarly committed to working out a deal -- although perhaps not as set on it as Olshey. He did say it's now the Clippers' first priority.

"It's something we'd like to do," Roeser said of re-upping Gordon before the deadline. "Usually you have a lot more time to complete this process, so our first order of business was to get our roster set and camp opened. Now that D.J.'s here and Chauncey's on his way, we think we can turn our attention to what other ways there are to improve the team and to considering an extension for Eric.

"I think he likes it here. I think he and Blake play well together. We'd like to have him here. He's an important part of our team."

Pedro Moura is a staff reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com.