Just one day after re-signing Austin Rivers, the Clippers ended a tumultuous negotiation cycle with Jamal Crawford, ultimately bringing him back for 3 years and $42 million. Crawford has been the Clippers' 6th man for the last four seasons, winning two 6th man of the year awards and posting averages of 16.2 points, 2.6 assists, and 1.9 rebounds. Last season, his scoring average dipped, but he shot less often and slightly more efficiently than the year before (still below his efficiency in his first two seasons with LAC).
Crawford's contract will pay him $42 million over 3 years. His first-year salary is $13,253,012. His third-year salary of $14,500,000 only has $3,000,000 guaranteed.
Lucas Hann: C+. The original rumored offer of one year for $12 million would have earned an 'A' in my book, but multiple better offers ended that option. You have to judge a 3-year deal for a 36-year-old player, but Crawford shows no sign of slowing down. The low guarantee in the third year helps--this is almost a 2 year deal with a team option, which makes it far more team-friendly and easy to move in a trade.
Steve Perrin: B-. The FAs for whom the Clippers had Bird Rights must be looked at as a group. Over the cap, working exclusively with exceptions, the Clippers had little choice other than to keep any player that provided any value. The market was so completely over the top that it become immediately clear they couldn't keep all three and retain the full MLE. Given those constraints, I'd say the Clippers kept the right two at about the right prices (again, bearing in mind how nuts the market was). Look at it this way -- $15M for a season of Jeff Green is worse than either of the deals the Clippers made, in my opinion.
Jonathan Hu: C+. I get the Clippers couldn't get a better player on the market really with the cap issue...but a 2+ year deal seems unnecessary. The team came out a bit ahead, but I'm skeptical by how much and I believe this reunion could've been done at a Clippers-friendlier deal.
Adithya: C. Good on Jamal for getting a big payday, but the team is going to be regretting this contract so much in Years 2 and 3. His fit next to Austin Rivers remains thorny. The Clippers couldn't afford to let him go... but could they afford to let him stay?
Robert Flom: B-. 3/42 is definitely an overpay for Jamal at this stage of his career. It is a lot of money for a long period of time, especially considering Jamal is 36 and has already declined somewhat in the past few years. By age 39, when making 14 million dollars, it is unlikely Jamal is still a rotation level player. On the other hand, due to bird rights, the Clippers would have lost him for nothing if they hadn't re-signed him, a situation that became even more dire once Jeff Green left for the Magic. The Clippers needed him back, but I wish Doc could have cut this deal down a year.
Taylor Smith: D. Two-plus years and $42 million are a hell of a lot to commit to a 36-year-old, one-dimensional player. I get that money has ruled everything this summer and that the Clippers had no flexibility. Still, this guy shot 40% from the field last season and was statistically a below average three-point shooter. And offense is supposedly his strong suit, because he's a total nothing on defense. This move reeks of desperation. I'd much rather have one year of Jeff Green at $15M for a season than three (potentially) of Crawford at $14M per. I don't think highly of Jeff Green at all, which speaks volumes about what I think of this deal. He'll have his moments, but the negatives outweigh the positives here.