- The Clippers agreed re-signed Austin Rivers to a three-year, $35 million contract.
- The Clippers came to terms with Wesley Johnson for either the mid-level exception or the rest of their cap space, effectively losing the rest of their flexibility to sign outside free agents.
- The Clippers reportedly offered Jamal Crawford — the last free agent they could exceed the cap to sign with Bird Rights — a contract he deemed too cheap.
With the Clippers in a hole they dug themselves into, Crawford used his leverage.
Sam Amick of the USA Today:
The 36-year-old Crawford probably won’t play up to that salary. He can’t keep defying aging forever, right?
But this is still an OK signing at this point for the capped-out Clippers, because they had no way to get a better replacement. For a team trying to win now, better to overpay a greater talent than pay a lesser talent fair value. This is why losing Jeff Green to the Magic was so devastating.
The Clippers also avoid locker-room issues by paying Crawford this much — i.e., more than the president/coach’s son.
Unless they make a trade before executing these signings, the Clippers will be hard-capped. Johnson will trigger it with the non-taxpayer mid-level exception.
That doesn’t make the road ahead any easier, but the Clippers set themselves up for a rough offseason. At least they’re retaining another talented piece.