With the 38-year-old point guard (Steve Nash) off the market, snagged by the other NBA team in town, the Los Angeles Clippers passed on the available 39- and 36-year-olds (Jason Kidd, Ray Allen) among experienced backcourt free agents and opted instead of the 35-year-old playmaker (Chauncey Billups) and the 32-year-old shooter (Jamal Crawford).
The way things have been going, this has to qualify as a youth movement, doesn’t it?
Broderick Turner at the Los Angeles Times broke the reported deals for Crawford and Billups that shape some other moves for L.A., too:
Crawford, an unrestricted free agent who opted out of his $5.2 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, has been offered a spot by the Clippers. He is expected to sign a three-year, $15.7 million contract, according to the executives.
Billups, who played in just 20 games last season with the Clippers before suffering a season-ending left Achilles tendon surgery, will sign a one-year deal that could be worth up to $4.3 million if he reaches bonuses, the executives said.
With Crawford and Billups reaching deals with the Clippers, L.A. cancelled the visit they had planned for free agent shooting guard Ray Allen on Friday.
The Clippers struggled to plug their shooting guard spot next to All-Star Chris Paul, with Billups a decent alternative till he got hurt and free agents Randy Foye and Nick Young filling in afterward. Crawford could log longer minutes there, though he might still be best off the bench; he was the league’s Sixth Man award winner with Atlanta in 2010.