With the future of point guard Chris Paul on the line in the coming season, the Clippers added to his supporting cast on Thursday. A source close to the situation confirmed that guard Jamal Crawford has agreed to sign with the Clippers on a four-year deal worth about $25 million with bonuses. According to sources with knowledge of the deal, the guaranteed money in the third and fourth years of the contract is "small." The Clippers have also reached an agreement with veteran point guard Chauncey Billups on a one-year deal.
Crawford is a more-than-worthy replacement for Mo Williams, who was recently traded to Utah. Billups, meanwhile, will return to the team after suffering a devastating Achilles tendon tear in February.
The Clippers reached the second round of the Western Conference playoffs last season before being swept by San Antonio, and Paul remains the missing piece for their long-term future. Forward Blake Griffin is expected to sign a five-year, $95 million extension, but Paul appears determined to become an unrestricted free agent next summer rather than sign an extension now that would net him less money.
Crawford was the Sixth Man of the Year with Atlanta in 2010, but he struggled to find a comfort level with Portland last season, averaging 13.7 points per game. He signed a two-year deal with the Trail Blazers with a player option in the second season so that he could become a free agent again this summer.