Underneath the big names of free agency there’s Jamal Crawford, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, who might end up staying with the Los Angeles Clippers, but is also meeting with the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic.
Crawford, who has been with the Clippers since 2012, averaged 14.2 points on 40.4% shooting last season. He’s a pretty well known commodity: Points, and a lot of them on a good day, in 25-30 minutes off the bench. Very little defense, me-first guard who can play both positions. It doesn’t matter, he shoots, shows impressive handles, has no problem taking big shots. Points, and nothing else. Classic for someone coming off the bench.
The Clippers obviously would like to keep him, although he has been disappointing in the last two postseasons. Crawford made $5.6 million last season, and might be interested in more. Contention, reportedly, isn’t too important to him. He doesn’t mind making more money on a bad team, or playing for a group on the rise. I’m not sure a lot of contenders view Crawford as that kind of missing piece to put them in championship range, because of his bad defense.
The Knicks had Crawford during their awful years of the mid 00’s, as he averaged 17.6 points per game there. While he could be useful in conjuring needed offense off the bench, for them, and a few other teams, he could be a bit of a disruption from process, and to be more frank, he’s old (Crawford is 36). The Heat and Mavericks are probably less worried about age, but for both of them, Crawford is a luxury they’ll attend to only after bigger names come off the board. The Orlando Magic need a scoring guard now that Oladipo is gone, and could settle for Crawford and bring some much needed experience in the door.
Either way, despite the rise in the salary cap, Crawford might end up being disappointed with the offers he gets from some teams. If he gets offers of above $7-8 million a season, it’ll be very surprising, unless it’s a team that has no intention of winning any time soon.