Recent reports and quotes have indicated Jamal Crawford is looking for a contract extension this summer.
“Our intention is to get an extension with the Clippers or anywhere else that he may be traded based on the fact that he’s undervalued for the production he’s providing,” his agent Andy Miller told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday night.
Unfortunately, Crawford will not be eligible for an extension until July 2015. Crawford signed his original four year, $21.35 million pact in July of 2012. Under Article VII, Section 7(a)(1) of the CBA, “a Player Contract covering a term of four (4), five (5) or six (6)* Seasons may be extended no sooner than the third anniversary of the signing of the Contract.”
*It should also be noted that no contract lasting three or fewer seasons may be extended. Also, don’t be confused by the language referring to a six season contract. A contract lasting six seasons is only possible under the current CBA when a player signs a Designated Player rookie extension for the maximum five years. The sixth year is the last year of the rookie contract.
Moreover, as Crawford will be over 36 at the end of this current contract in July of 2016, any extension would be subject to the Over 36 Rule. That rule is complex and explained more here, but the main point is that any contract longer than three years in which years four or five of the contract take place after the player is 36 has the money from those years accelerated onto the team’s cap for the first three years of the contract. So the team might as well just pay him the same total amount on a three year contract.
Thus, if Crawford could get an extension it would only be one year, since the remaining two years on his original contract count toward the Over 36 rule. Further, such an extension could only start at 107.5% of Crawford’s 2015-16 salary of $5.675 million, which does not seem like the substantial raise he is looking for.
Crawford’s 2015-16 salary is only $1.5 million guaranteed, with a guarantee date of June 30, 2015. Therefore, it will not be possible for Crawford to get any kind of extension until after the point at which he might be waived. Crawford has played better than anticipated on this contract through age 34, as it appeared potentially a bit of an overpay when first signed. Nevertheless, he will have to keep that up this year to get paid again next year.