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Jamal Crawford may be on his way out of Los Angeles

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It looks like Crawford's time in L.A. could be coming to an end.

All offseason rumors have suggested that the Los Angeles Clippers might trade Jamal Crawford as part of their roster shakeup. Those whispers will only get louder now after Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported interest from the Knicks, Cavaliers and Heat. Later, the shooting guard tweeted out an ominous message on Tuesday night indicating his situation would reach a resolution soon.

"Sometimes things have a weird way of working out," Crawford tweeted.

That makes it sound like Crawford has an idea of where he'll be playing next season, whether it's in Los Angeles or a new city. The Knicks must get creative to acquire him because they don't have like-minded salary to send to the Clippers, but the other two teams have clearer avenues.

Crawford is one of the biggest names still dealing with uncertainty this late into the offseason, and his scoring ability would be a welcomed addition to any of the teams listed above. The big question, of course, is whether the Clippers can find a deal to their liking. Could this be the end of Crawford's time in L.A.?

Why it makes sense

Crawford's place with the Clippers has felt tenuous all offseason, fueled by on-and-off reports of a possible trade. The team has worked hard to rebuild its bench after convincing DeAndre Jordan to re-sign, bringing in veterans Paul Pierce, Josh Smith, Lance Stephenson and Pablo Prigioni. With the coach's son, Austin Rivers, looking to take on a bigger role and prove he's been underrated, it's not obvious how Crawford can carve out a significant role like the one he's had in past seasons.

That could push Los Angeles to trade Crawford for someone with a different skill set. There surely would be suitors if the team decides to deal Crawford and his $5.675 million salary.

The most obvious would appear to the Knicks, who reportedly want Crawford's scoring ability to ease the pressure on star forward Carmelo Anthony. Crawford still has significant ties to members of the organization after playing there from 2004-08, including owner James Dolan. The only catch is that New York would likely need to "get creative" to make the money work on both sides.

Any deal would probably have to include Knicks guard Jose Calderon, who could give the Clippers some welcomed long range shooting. To toss a little more fuel to the fire, Calderon tweeted this early Wednesday morning:

Maybe this is all a bit of coincidence regarding what's going on, but the Knicks dealing Calderon as part of a move to acquire Crawford would make a good deal of sense. The Heat and Cavaliers, meanwhile, are a pair of East contenders who could always use more scoring punch.

Why it doesn't make sense

Even if a Crawford-for-Calderon trade works for both sides in basketball terms, the money could complicate things. A straight one-for-one trade isn't possible because of Calderon's $7.4 million salary and the Clippers already being over the luxury tax. That means the Clippers would need to include other pieces or involve a third team in order to make the deal work.

That's a lot of moving pieces, and any time things get this complicated, there's a chance they fall apart. The Clippers may want to swap Crawford for Calderon, but what if it means including 2014 first-round pick C.J. Wilcox to make the financial side fit? For a team that's already mortgaged so much of its future, maybe that's where Doc Rivers and management draw the line and decide to keep Crawford.

Considering any deal would have to include Calderon given the Knicks' lack of other tradeable options, it's possible the Spanish guard makes too much for the Clippers to find the room. The other suitors, on the other hand, just may not have enough to entice L.A. to make a deal.


A deal could make sense for both sides on the court but not come together due to the various financial factors involved. While the Knicks can fit Crawford's salary with a trade exception, the Clippers don't have the same flexibility due to their luxury tax situation. Still, given the various tweets and rumors suggesting a deal is possible, there seems to be some genuine smoke here.

We'll tab the odds of a deal at 6 out of 10.


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