A minuscule storyline headed into the summer, the Los Angeles Clippers decided against wavering Jamal Crawford at the June 30th deadline per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Jamal Crawford had $5.4 million contract guaranteed today when June 30 deadline passed. But Clips always were going to keep him
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) July 1, 2014
One would wonder why the Clippers would even consider releasing Crawford following a season where the shooting guard averaged 18.6 points per game, his highest scoring output since the 2009-10 season, and won his second Sixth Man of the Year award. Crawford himself referred to his 2013-14 campaign as the best season of his career in a recent interview with the Seattle Times.
“For sure, it was the best season of my career. No question. To average almost 19 points off the bench on a championship-level team, it shows you’re pretty good. To do it at this level, when a team is that good, I think that says a lot.”
The front office never hinted toward a decision, but with the team displaying glaring deficiencies in the playoffs, moving on from Crawford’s contract would’ve given them more space to improve this holes. With J.J. Redick, Reggie Bullock, and the recently drafted C.J. Wilcox on the roster, the depth at the two position would’ve made Crawford expendable. Instead, Crawford’s $5.45 million salary is officially guaranteed for the entire 2014-15 season.
This doesn’t promise that Crawford remains on the roster as an non-guaranteed 2015-16 season could draw an unsuspecting suitor to acquire Jamal at the trade deadline.
And if the right package comes along for Doc Rivers, possibly a third big man or an upgrade at the small forward position, then the Clippers wouldn’t–or shouldn’t–shy away form being sellers.