The offseason is winding down, and most free agents capable of contributing on the hardwood have found homes by now. One player who’s been unable to secure a deal is the well-traveled Jordan Crawford. The 25-year-old out of Xavier has been a useful piece throughout his career, which has consisted of stops with the Hawks, Wizards, Celtics, and Warriors. Most teams’ rosters are looking pretty well-set as the regular season approaches, so Crawford’s options appear to be dwindling.
Crawford was shipped from Boston to Golden State last January as part of a three-team deal with Miami. Prior to the trade, Crawford was a big part of the Celtics offense, putting up nightly averages of 13.7 points and 5.7 assists while seeing 30.5 minutes per game. The combo guard has displayed good scoring instincts throughout his career, which his mark of 17.8 points per 36 minutes speaks to.
The strong start Crawford had in Boston had him looking like a potential candidate for the Most Improved Player Award, but his 2013/14 campaign took a dramatic shift post-trade. After being dealt to the W’s, Crawford saw his minutes drop to an average of just 15.7 per night, as he was not a major part of Golden State’s rotation. At season’s end, backcourt peers Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Steve Blake all played more minutes per contest than Crawford, who was never able to find regular playing time on his new club in spite of a strong start to the year with Boston. To no surprise, the financially limited and guard-stocked Warriors chose not to extend Crawford his $3,206,867 qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. The four-year veteran is still without a team midway through August.
Several squads were said to have interest in the former first-rounder, with the Bulls, Mavericks, Lakers, Knicks, and Nets all being mentioned as possible suitors. Since more than a couple of those teams have now supplemented their backcourts with other players, a question arises: why hasn’t Crawford found a team? It’s possible that the Creative Artists Agency client is holding out for more than the minimum salary, which is the most any of those clubs could offer him, as Hoops Rumors details. However, his lack of playing time in Golden State might have hindered his chances at drawing anything above that sum, so he might need to settle on such an amount.
It wouldn’t be shocking to see him on the Bulls next year, given their apparent dedication to bolstering their scoring. The Lakers would make sense too, given their dearth of backcourt depth and concerns regarding Kobe Bryant‘s health. The Mavericks, Knicks, and Nets all have rosters that currently boast at least 15 players so they seem like a less logical destination. There’s still time between now and the beginning of the regular season, and teams are capable of shuffling their roster, so really a move to any of the aforementioned teams wouldn’t be out of the realm of feasibility.
I’d be surprised if Crawford isn’t on an NBA by roster by the beginning of the season, as he’s proven throughout his career he can pack a scoring punch off of the bench. He’s lacked efficiency at times, taking too many shots, but his strong, albeit short campaign as a Celtic demonstrated he’s a player with the ability to contribute in a meaningful way. If he’s truly holding out for more than the minimum, and no team offers him an amount greater than that, he’ll have little choice but to simply take what he’s offered.