Clippers rumors: Team has no intention of trading Jamal Crawford


Oh how the tides have turned.

Just a few weeks ago, it was reported that the Clippers were dangling Jamal Crawford as trade bait in the never-ending search to find a starting small forward. Now, per Ken Berger of CBS Sports, that ship has sailed as the Clippers “do not intend” to move Crawford in a deal:

"The Clippers continue to shop for a starting small forward, but have told at least one inquiring team that they do not intend to move valuable sixth man Jamal Crawford in the process, sources say. The Clippers have one of the least productive benches in the league as it is, and that problem would become even more pronounced if they moved Crawford. Coach and president Doc Rivers has few trade assets to work with, and the Clippers are hard-capped and thus don’t have much flexibility to take on salary."

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  • Let’s address the miniature elephant in the room: once again, Doc Rivers the GM has put the Clippers in a bind. With a better bench, the Clippers could offset the loss of Jamal Crawford if it means finding someone that can one-up Matt Barnes for the starting small forward spot. This doesn’t necessarily mean scoring — the ’08 Celtics ranked 18th in bench points per game and the ’13 Heat ranked 24th in bench points per game. By acquiring players who improve upon the teams weaknesses (in this case, defense, defense, DEFENSE), losing a 16.1 points per game scorer when you’ve Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, and Blake Griffin could work.

    With the addition of “starting small forward X”, whomever it may be, Jeff Green, Wilson Chandler, etc.,  they’d allow the Clippers to improve closer to their dream of winning a NBA championship, a dream that seems to grow further and further away as the season improves.

    The real issue here? As Berger addresses at the bottom of the ‘graf, the Clippers have very little assets outside of Jamal Crawford:

    That’s it.

    The 2015 first-rounder belongs to the Boston Celtics via the Doc Rivers deal. The 2017 first-rounder belongs to the Milwaukee Bucks via the Jared Dudley trade. Spencer Hawes has little to no value as he’s owed nearly $15 million-plus over the next three years to be a little-offense, no-defense guy. Because of a favorable contract, Jordan Farmar as trade filler makes sense, but his play has been uninspiring up to this point. (4.5 points on 37 FG%, 36 3P%). The best-case scenario for the Clippers that doesn’t involve including J.J. Redick or Crawford (because he’s “out”) would be a team seeing C.J. Wilcox as an impact player upon arrival.

    That’s it.

    I don’t know what Doc Rivers has up his sleeves, but he hasn’t delivered any reason these past two years that relieve him of the benefit of the doubt. The search for a starting small forward continues and they’ve a month from now until the trade deadline to figure it out.

    For now, the “Please don’t trade Jamal Crawford” crew can breathe (keyword: for now).