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Clippers Free Agency 2016: Clippers Re-Sign Wesley Johnson for 3 Years, $18 Million

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Wesley Johnson will return to the Clippers.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, the Clippers have re-signed Wesley Johnson to a 3-year, $18 million dollar deal.  This is the value of the full mid-level exception.

Johnson was solid player for the Clippers, but his combination of mediocre shooting and average on-ball defense were never enough to earn him a starting spot.  He took threes at an incredibly high rate, which was sometimes unfortunate as he was only a 33.3% shooter from deep and failed to hit close to that mark from anywhere except for the corners, where he was excellent at 42%.  He also couldn't do much on offense except for finish open dunks and shoot open shots--no dribbling, no passing, no driving.  Defensively, he possessed a lot of length, which helped him in rotations and passing lanes, but he often failed to keep in front of his man on the ball, especially when tasked with marking the elite wings that the Clippers' starting small forward must guard.

There are two options for this contract, which is the value of the Mid-Level Exception.  The Clippers can either sign him under the mid-level exception, which starts at $5,628,000 and would total $17,655,177 over three years, or sign him using room in a post-Jamal Crawford world, in which case they could give him that number or a clean $6,000,000 a year for three years.  If Jamal is gone and the Clippers do open up room, the available money totals $6.9 million, which is essentially all used by Johnson's deal.  If Paul Pierce also retires, the Clippers could have about $4.5 million to use after signing Wesley.  Then, they'd have the room exception of $2.898 million to sign one last player.

If the Clippers sign Johnson to the mid-level exception, it triggers the hard cap, but since it's set at $117 million they aren't in danger of being threatened by it this season.  They would also be able to preserve Jamal Crawford's bird rights and re-sign him.  Then, they'd have the bi-annual exception of $2.2 million for that last player.  If the Clippers sign Johnson using cap room, they lose the bi-annual exception.

This deal, along with Rivers', don't hamper the Clippers' flexibility very much.  The Clippers will surely sign Austin last, as his new salary of $11M is greater than his $5.9M cap hold, and where Wesley is slotted in will largely depend on Jamal Crawford.  If the Clippers can negotiate a reasonable deal to retain Jamal, Wesley goes into the MLE slot and the Clippers are capped out except for the BAE.  If Crawford leaves, then the Clippers will have the room exception, and Paul Pierce's retirement will determine whether or not they also have about $4.5 million in space.