LA Clippers Trade Rumors: Team Still Shopping Jamal Crawford?

LA Clippers trade rumors about Jamal Crawford haven’t gone away. New Clippers rumors might just put an end to the chatter, though. A report from CBS Sports directly quotes Clippers head coach Doc Rivers as he addresses the situation.

“I’ve heard all the rumors about Jamal going other places. Jamal’s a Clipper and I would be very surprised if he’s not a Clipper by the season’s end.”

This does not guarantee that Crawford will remain with the team for the full 2015-16 NBA season, but might show that Rivers is tired of hearing about rumors. The original story came up due to how expensive he has become to the team. With the roster over-extended, the franchise will have to pay luxury tax penalties at the end of the next NBA season.

Crawford is entering the final season of his four-year contract with the Clippers and will make $5.675 million in 2015-16. It might not seem like that much money when it comes to professional sports, but the picture clears up when viewing how much in taxes the team has to pay. His salary creates about $10,505,533 in luxury tax penalties, meaning it costs the team about $16,180,533 for him to play there this season.

Many previous LA Clippers trade rumors have linked the team and Jamal Crawford to the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Knicks need more offense coming off the bench and the Cavaliers need a spark to lead the second unit. Crawford would fit perfectly into both scenarios, especially in New York, where the team wants a veteran player that doesn’t cost a lot of money. This is why talks could be taking place behind closed doors, no matter what Rivers is saying.

Last season, in 64 games, Crawford averaged 15.8 points, 2.5 assists, and 1.9 rebounds per game. He was averaging 26.6 minutes a night off the bench for the Clippers, but his numbers dipped a lot during the 2015 NBA Playoffs. In 14 postseason games, he shot just 36 percent from the field and 24.3 percent from three-point range. That wasn’t what the team needed from him.

Even with the NBA season coming up in October, this is probably not the last time Crawford will be mentioned as a player available in trade. The prospect of having to pay all those luxury tax penalties may be done on the front office personnel at some point, leading to further discussions down the road. If Doc Rivers is truly set on keeping Jamal Crawford on the roster, though, these LA Clippers trade rumors might just die down.

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