The reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year is going to be wearing the same uniform next season. According to ESPN, the Los Angeles Clippers are signing Jamal Crawford to a new three year contract that is worth $42 million. Management has been extremely busy in free agency thus far this summer.
Despite having three big stars in Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers president Doc Rivers wanted more star power. Thanks in large part due to his reputation as a head coach, Rivers was one of the few executives that was able to secure a sit down meeting with Kevin Durant, the most coveted free agent in the NBA.
Once the meeting with Kevin Durant was done, Doc Rivers went quickly to work on securing the rest of the Los Angeles Clippers roster. One of the primary goals was keeping Jamal Crawford as an explosive weapon off the bench.
According to SB Nation, Jamal Crawford has spent four years with the Los Angeles Clippers. At 36 years of age and armed with a new three year contract, Crawford will be playing for the Clippers until he is 39 years old. Los Angeles is taking a bit of a risk in hoping that he can remain explosive at such a late age.
Jamal Crawford can put up a lot of points in a short amount of time. Doc Rivers like having that weapon around because he can call upon Crawford to come off the bench if the Los Angeles Clippers get behind early on in games.
Another reason why Doc Rivers likes having Jamal Crawford around is because the veteran guard has embraced his role as a backup player. Much like San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili does, Crawford doesn’t feel the need to be on the floor when the game starts.
According to CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Clippers came close to losing Jamal Crawford because he was offended that Austin Rivers, the son of Doc Rivers, received a higher contract offer. Crawford ended up receiving more than the $35 million that Rivers was signed for.
There were reports that the Golden State Warriors were interested in signing Jamal Crawford. However, the franchise is currently waiting to see if Kevin Durant accepts their offer. The Oklahoma City Thunder star has informed NBA teams that he will make his free agency decision by Monday morning.
Another team that was interested in Jamal Crawford was the Brooklyn Nets. Aside from needing leadership, the team desperately needs players that can put up points. Crawford, however, did not seem all that interested in being in a rebuilding situation at this stage of his NBA career. He’d like to contend for championships during his final years in the league.
According to Fox Sports, the Los Angeles Clippers initially wanted to offer Jamal Crawford a one year contract that is worth $12 million. Doc Rivers wanted to maintain salary cap flexibility for the following summer.
There were some concerns from management about Jamal Crawford. There are nights where he simply cannot put up points. On those nights, Doc Rivers has to pull him off the floor because he is usually a liability on defense. Since he is getting up there in age, the defense is only going to get worse from here on out.
$42 million seems like a lot of money to pay someone that can only provide offense. However, that’s going to become the standard in the NBA because the salary cap is reaching record levels and is going to continue rising.
[Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images]