With NBA training camps just a few days away, veteran guard Jamal Crawford is perhaps the most notable free agent without a team. However, Crawford is still optimistic that he’ll find a new NBA home soon, telling Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that he’s “staying ready and staying patient” as he seeks a new deal.
“If you would have asked before if I thought it would go this long, I’d say no,” Crawford told Spears. “But, I guess it’s kind of a special circumstance with the way the league is going, the market and different things of that nature. But I’m fine. … I know I will be somewhere at some point. It will work out the way it’s supposed to. That’s the part where I’m like, ‘Hey, at least you get more time with your family right now.’ That part is a plus.”
A source tells Spears that the Warriors, Celtics, Sixers, and Lakers are among the teams that have shown interest in Crawford, but those clubs haven’t made formal contract offers. Meanwhile, Crawford tells Spears that he has turned down offers at “lower levels” since he wasn’t convinced they were good fits.
“There is interest,” Crawford said. “I’m just waiting for the situation where I think I can help [and] where I fit well. I don’t want to sign something just to sign it. … I’m not saying ‘championship or bust.’ A team on the rise makes sense. I bring a specific skill set, so a team that needs me instead of just, ‘Oh, that can work.’ I feel like I just went through that last season, and I don’t want to do that again.”
Crawford turned down a $4.5MM player option with the Timberwolves in order to reach the open market this summer. Although he seems unlikely to match that salary when he eventually signs, the 38-year-old is still being paid by the Hawks on a contract that was terminated in 2017, so accepting a minimum-salary deal wouldn’t be the end of the world. And, as Crawford notes, he has no regrets about declining his option to get out of Minnesota.
“It just wasn’t a happy environment,” Crawford said. “I thought I would be playing more before I signed. It ended up being the second-fewest minutes I’ve ever played. Just wasn’t a fit or went like I was under the impression it would.”