Crawford Seeks Extension
Money is nice.
According to several reports, Jamal Crawford and his agent said today that the reigning 6th Man of the Year will be seeking an extension next off-season that pays more than his current deal. It's no secret that the Clippers have made Crawford available in trade discussions as they seek to both add depth in the frontcourt and upgrade their starting small forward.
What's also not a secret is that people generally prefer to make more money, and people generally like to be guaranteed to make more money annually over longer periods of time. Which is why I would describe this "news" as, well, not news. You might say that it's news simply because Crawford is indicating a strong, outspoken desire to stay with the team past his current contract, which might be noteworthy, even if it's not particularly surprising. However, that's not really the takeaway here. Aware that he might be traded, the statement basically indicates Jamal's desire to make more money, regardless of the setting:
"Our intention is to get an extension with the Clippers or anywhere else that he may be traded based on the fact that he's undervalued for the production he's providing," his agent Andy Miller told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday night.
That's agent-speak for: "my client wants to make more money, and I want to make more money, so we're seeking a contract that will pay him more money." What was expected? "Jamal believes he is being paid more than he's worth, and would like to negotiate an extension next summer that would reduce his yearly salary"?
However, some people seem to be taking exception to this development, which is... weird. Because if simply expressing a desire to make more money is greed, then we're all greedy. This announcement's timing probably has something to do with the reportedly inflated salaries of players like Jodie Meeks and C.J. Miles, but unfortunately for Jamal he's not a free agent in this market, and he won't be one again until he's 36 years old.
In the wake of this announcement by Jamal Crawford, I've decided to make an announcement of my own. My intention is to get an extension with Clips Nation or any other blog that I may be traded to based on the fact that I'm undervalued for the production I'm providing. Also, due to my age I believe I should make more due to my potential. I'd like a raise and more years guaranteed making that increased salary. Which is moot because I don't have a salary, but that's irrelevant.
The point is, it's real nice to want things.
Clippers Interested in Pierce Sign-and-Trade
Also widespread on the interwebs this evening was the Clippers' desire to land Paul Pierce. There's also reports that it would be in a sign-and-trade deal, which is interesting but alright. Essentially, due to the team's limited resources, it's all but impossible to fill all of their needs using only the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions, especially considering how recent signings have indicated that players will be generally given more money than most people seemed to expect (read: teams have been overpaying free agents so far).
Paul Pierce is a very good basketball player. He's an NBA Champion, he has a great relationship with Doc Rivers, and he's an LA native. It's perfect. As long as he's a backup. It's difficult to imagine the Clippers defensively with Pierce inserted into the lineup for Matt Barnes. For all his shortcomings, Barnes was the Clippers' best defender on the wing last season. And for everything else that he brings, Pierce simply isn't capable of defending the elite small forwards in the league anymore. It's not his fault, but he'll be 37 by the time the season begins and he's played a lot of minutes for a lot of years. The team might be able to get away with it in the regular season against some teams, but in the Western Conference playoffs a Pierce-Redick tandem will struggle mightily on defense against the elite, young, athletic wings that most good teams seem to have (seriously, how have the Clippers gotten none of these guys--Leonard, Stephenson, George, Durant, Parsons lead the charge off of the top of my head).
Other Free Agency News
Buzz around twitter has also indicated that the Clippers are targeting Luol Deng, Trevor Ariza, and Spencer Hawes in S&T deals.
The Clippers also have been reported to have strong interest in Ed Davis, who was not given a qualifying offer by the Grizzlies and is an unrestricted free agent. He's at a fairly low value right now, but that indicates that the Clippers could end up getting a great deal on him. If the partial mid-level is in play, then it would be an amazing signing on a young, solid backup PF/C.
According to Ramona Shelburne and others, the Clippers are still trying to get in on the free agency of superstar forwards LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Anthony has met with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, and Dallas Mavericks, and is scheduled to meet with the Lakers on Thursday. James has not taken any meetings as he's been enjoying the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but there seems to be a growing uncertainty around the league regarding his future, and the media has picked the Clippers as a potential ideal landing spot. For either James or Anthony, the Clippers would have to pursue a sign-and-trade deal, and in all likelihood that trade would be a package centered around DeAndre Jordan, and probably including Jamal Crawford as well.