Doc Rivers says Clippers plan to keep Jamal Crawford


May 4, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford (11) calls a play against the Houston Rockets in the second half in game one of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Los Angeles Clippers won 117 to 101. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

In an offseason full of new signings and DeAndre Jordan based drama, the Los Angeles Clippers have also constantly been surrounded by the rumor of whether or not they intend to trade former Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford. Yet, after constant speculation as to whether he’s been replaced by players such as Lance Stephenson and Paul Pierce, Doc Rivers seems to have put those discussions to rest.

In a recent interview with Fred Roggin of The Beast 980, the Clippers’ head coach discussed several topics. He addressed the issue of the reported front-office disturbance, the snapchat DeAndre sent his son when he revealed that he wanted to return to L.A., and whether or not he plans on keeping Jamal Crawford.

Thankfully for Crawford fans, Doc made it clear that he wants Jamal to stay around.

Fred Roggin said to Doc Rivers “let’s talk Jamal Crawford. He’s with you now, do you anticipate him being with you?” In response to the much discussed question that has been hovering around the Clippers all summer, Doc replied with the following statement:

"“Yeah. You know, I’ve heard all the rumors about Jamal going other places. Jamal is a Clipper and I would be very surprised if he’s not a Clipper by the season’s end.Roggin then responded “so, you’re planning on keeping him right now?”“Yeah, yeah absolutely”, Doc replied."

So, after so many talks suggesting that Jamal Crawford is the new odd-man-out and that he’ll most likely be traded, it seems that he’ll be staying with the Clippers — at least for the foreseeable future. Because if Doc says he’ll be surprised if he leaves, considering he’s the president of basketball operations for the team and all, we should be equally stunned if Crawford is suddenly traded now.

However, the way in which the Clippers will utilize Crawford’s instant offense and devastating handles is still somewhat unclear. There’s no doubt that his playing time will be reduced (especially as he ages and his efficiency continues to struggle), and we know that Stephenson is coming in to take the majority of the second unit backcourt minutes, but whether Crawford’s minutes will primarily be as a third shooting guard or possible option at small forward is still to be seen.

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As Doc has recently revealed, he’d like to use Paul Pierce a lot at power forward. If he sticks by that idea, that leaves a few more minutes available at backup small forward for Crawford. And after spending 40 percent of his playing time at the three last season, we know that’s something Jamal can manage.

Exactly how the Clippers’ bench will run is still up in the air, though. Doc expressed in the interview with The Beast 980 that he loves the team’s versatility, whilst adding that he may experiment with multiple starting lineups and use different players in various roles throughout the season.

With that in mind, there’s certainly a lot to look forward to when the Clippers’ 2015-16 campaign begins to unfold in October. Furthermore, after months of wondering what could happen, it looks fairly certain that Jamal Crawford won’t be going anywhere after all.

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