JUNE 27TH, 7:50pm: Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com caught up with Jamal Crawford who confirmed that he did in fact opt out despite initially being agreeable to a trade. He said that after consulting with his family, he decided to go the free agent route in hopes of securing a long-term deal:
"I wanted to experience free agency truly for the first time. The last two years I've essentially played on one-year contracts and I can't do that to my family anymore. I want a multiyear deal," Crawford said.
7:00pm: It appears that Crawford has officially exercised his opt out clause with the Blazers and will become a free agent on July 1, tweets Yahoo's Marc Spears. Crawford had originally waited to exercise the option in an effort to allow the Blazers to try to trade him. Yesterday we heard that the Sixers, Celtics and Timberwolves all had expressed serious interest in dealing for the veteran guard but it now appears that will not happen.
JUNE 20TH, 4:16pm: The postponement of Crawford's decision deadline will allow the Blazers to shop the guard on draft night, says Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. If the Blazers can find a trade partner Crawford likes, he could opt into the final year of his deal and then be moved, according to Kennedy. I think that's probably an unlikely scenario though, since Crawford will have the opportunity to land a multiyear deal if he hits free agency.
Kennedy cites the Pacers, Clippers, Timberwolves, Celtics, and Heat as teams expected to pursue Crawford this summer.
JUNE 15TH, 12:57pm: The Blazers have extended the deadline for Crawford's option decision two weeks, to June 29th, tweets Mike Tokito of the Oregonian. That shouldn't affect Crawford's decision at all, as agent Andy Miller confirms to Joe Freeman of the Oregonian (Twitter link), but it means we'll have to wait a little longer for official resolution.
9:54am: Jamal Crawford has confirmed he won't be picking up his player option for 2012/13, according to a report from The Sporting News. In an interview with Seattle TV station KING, Crawford referred to himself as a free agent and said he's looking forward to exploring his options starting on July 1st.
"I'm a free agent, so I'm excited about what's there moving forward," Crawford said. "There will be a lot of teams out there with a lot of interest. I'll sit back after July and see what happens."
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported at season's end that Crawford would opt out of his deal, which would have paid him about $5.23MM. The Blazers guard had a deadline of June 15th to make a decision, so we can assume that if the move isn't official yet, it will be at some point today.
A number of teams are expected to pursue shooting guards this summer and could be fits for Crawford, including the Suns, Timberwolves, and Clippers.