Doc Rivers: Don’t expect me to trade Jamal Crawford

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Jamal Crawford‘s name has come up in a lot of trade rumors this summer: to Cleveland, to Miami, and to New York, just to name a few. The idea was that he’s not always happy, and if the Clippers were going to add depth this summer he was their most tradable asset.

Except GM Doc Rivers added depth — Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, Pablo Prigioni, Wesley Johnson, Cole Aldrich — without having to give up Crawford. Rivers told venerable Los Angeles sports talk radio personality Fred Roggin (on the Clippers’ flagship The Beast 980) don’t expect him to trade Rivers’ now (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

“I’ve heard all the rumors about Jamal going other places,” Rivers said. “Jamal’s a Clipper and I would be very surprised if he’s not a Clipper by the season’s end.”

To be clear, Roggin asked him again: “You’re planning on keeping him right now?”

“Yeah,” Rivers responded. “Yeah. Absolutely.”

Consider this the “if you want Crawford you’re going to have to give me something I want in return” message to all the teams calling him.

The Clippers have no strong motive to trade Crawford now — he’s a valuable point-scoring machine, a former Sixth Man of the Year, who can come in for J.J. Redick and keep the offense humming. He can even serve as a backup point guard, or at least be the guy who handles the ball with the second unit. So if Rivers is going to consider a trade for him, he has to see an upgrade in what is coming back. He’s not just moving him to move him.

And while Crawford hasn’t always been happy hearing his name in these rumors, winning has a way of curing those kinds of ills.