Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford Agrees To Sign With Nets

Free agent guard Jamal Crawford has agreed to join the depleted Nets for the league restart, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic (Twitter link).

The 40-year-old crossover maestro, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year, last suited up for the Suns in 64 games during the 2018/19 season. Across 19 NBA seasons, Crawford sports a slash line of 14.6 PPG, 3.4 APG, and 2.2 RPG. He is also averaging 34.8% from three-point range and 86.2% from the free-throw line.

During his lone Phoenix season, Crawford’s scoring dipped to a single-digit average for the first time since his 2001/02 season with the Bulls. Crawford averaged 7.9 PPG, 3.6 APG and 1.3 RPG, while shooting just 39.7% from the field. He scored 51 points in his last game for Phoenix, on April 9, 2019. John Hollinger of The Athletic notes that Crawford rated as a below-replacement level player last season (Twitter link).

The Nets have been hit particularly hard ahead of the NBA’s return to action at Orlando’s Disney World campus, currently scheduled to kick off July 30. Injured All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will miss the rest of the 2019/20 season. Center DeAndre Jordan, wing Taurean Prince, and guard Spencer Dinwiddie have been stricken with COVID-19 and will also all miss the restart. Additionally, Nicolas Claxton is sidelined due to a shoulder injury and Wilson Chandler has opted out of participating.

The team can sign up to two more substitute players after making it official with Crawford and Justin Anderson, whose deal was reported in June.

Jamal Crawford Staying In Shape For Possible NBA Return

If and when the NBA season resumes, there will be a lot to figure out in regards to how much of the regular season will be played and how the playoff format will be adjusted. For teams in search of help, one notable veteran remains unsigned and is eager to help.

Jamal Crawford has made it known he wants to resume playing and continues to stay prepared with that goal in mind, as he told ESPN’s Kenny Mayne on SportsCenter on Friday.

“I’ve been training as if I’m playing…Hopefully, I’ll get another chance to get back out there,” Crawford said, repeating his statement from November in which he was “baffled.”

Crawford, 40, spent last season in an uneven role with the Suns, averaging 7.9 PPG in 64 games, his lowest average since his rookie campaign. However, he did score 51 points in the season’s final game. The three-time Sixth Man of the Year had spent five of the prior six campaigns as a reliable bench weapon for the Clippers.

In his career, Crawford has also suited up for the Bulls, Knicks, Warriors, Hawks and Blazers.

Charania’s Latest: Nuggets, Nowitzki, Harkless, Crawford

Before they reached an agreement to sign Troy Daniels this week, the Nuggets considered a handful of other veteran free agents, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who identifies Iman Shumpert and Joakim Noah as two players who were on Denver’s radar.

Although the Nuggets chose Daniels for now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t add another free agent, such as Shumpert or Noah, before the playoffs begin next month. Daniels filled the 14th spot on Denver’s roster, so the team still has one more opening on its 15-man squad.

Here are a few more items of interest from Charania:

  • The Mavericks have a standing job offer out to Dirk Nowitzki, but the longtime Dallas forward isn’t yet ready to take on a formal role with the franchise, says Charania. It’s not clear what sort of job the Mavs are offering Nowitzki — I imagine he’d have plenty of say in his role, depending on what interests him.
  • After not buying out Maurice Harkless by March 1, the Knicks are expected to show interest in re-signing him this summer, sources tell The Athletic. Some playoff teams are planning to pursue Harkless as well, Charania adds.
  • Despite not having played since last spring, Jamal Crawford remains committed to continuing his NBA career, according to Charania, who says the free agent guard – who turns 40 in two weeks – is in shape and ready to go if he gets an opportunity.
  • Earlier today, we passed along Charania’s reports on the Lakers monitoring the market for shooting help, Joel Embiid‘s target return date, and a few pre-deadline trades that ultimately failed to materialize.

Jamal Crawford “Baffled” By Lack Of Opportunity

Does anyone need a three-time Sixth Man of the Year who’s still capable of a 50-point night? Jamal Crawford tells Shaun Powell of NBA.com that he’s working out in Seattle and trying to be ready in case an NBA team comes calling.

At age 39, Crawford isn’t ready to retire, not after putting up 51 points in the final game of last season. That capped off an uneven year in Phoenix where Crawford seemed out of place as a veteran on a rebuilding team. He averaged just 18.9 minutes per night and scored 7.9 PPG, the lowest since his rookie season in 2000/01.

Crawford watched two other veteran free agents get back in the league this week as Brooklyn signed Iman Shumpert and Portland reached a deal with Carmelo Anthony. Crawford tweeted messages of support for both players and hopes he’ll be next in line for an opportunity.

“I know I can play,” he said, “and I would think my reputation is still solid. It’s baffling to me.”

Crawford started last season as part of a group of veteran leaders in Phoenix. However, by mid-December, the Suns had traded Trevor Ariza and bought out Tyson Chandler, leaving Crawford alone in that role. He also played most of the year out of position, spending time at point guard where the Suns were desperate for help, rather than his natural position of shooting guard.

Still he had bursts of productivity that suggest he could still fill a role on an NBA roster. The 51-point night wasn’t a fluke, as he scored 19, 28 and 27 points in the three prior games.

“I’m kind of an outlier because you don’t see anyone my age having games like that,” Crawford said. “And I did it off the bench. A year earlier, in my 18th year, I was still averaging double figures. I can bring a multitude of things. I’ll be ready for whatever team decides how I can fit into what they’re trying to do.”

Summer was quiet for Crawford as the Suns moved in a different direction, and he didn’t receive even a text message from anyone during July’s free agency sweepstakes. He’s part of a large group of over-30 players still on the open market and notes that many teams take a “wait and see approach” with athletes once they reach a certain age.

Crawford understands that there are a limited number of roster spots available, but he hasn’t lost the belief that he belongs in the NBA. He plans to be ready if the chance arises.

“Physically, I feel better than I did last season,” he said. “I’m able to get my body together. My skill set is sharp. I feel that I’m good. My mindset is be patient and hopefully something good comes about it. I’ll be ready for the opportunity.”

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Crawford, Fizdale, Fall

As the Nets embark in their first season with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant under contract, the players aren’t the only ones working to establish a new chemistry, as detailed by Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn’s head coach for the past three years, is known to have strong people skills and a willingness to get to know his players both on the court and off. For Atkinson, this season will be no different.

“I’m trying to personally establish relationships with the new guys, and quite honestly figuring them out off the court and on the court,” Atkinson said, according to Lewis. “We need time to build that relationship.

“You say, ‘Well, haven’t you been watching DeAndre Jordan or Kyrie for a long time?’ It’s just different when they’re in your house and your system and you’re just trying to really figure it out. We’re still in the figuring-out stage. I know we’ve got to move quick. I know this thing goes quick, so we’re trying.”

Despite likely having to play without Durant this season, the Nets have a strong roster led by the likes of Irving, Jordan, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie and others as they look to compete for a spot in the playoffs next spring.

Here are some other notes out of the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Signing Jamal Crawford could make a lot of sense for the Sixers, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer contends. Crawford, who remains a free agent one week into the NBA season, averaged 7.9 points off the bench for the Suns last year. He’s currently represented by agent Aaron Goodwin of Goodwin Sports Management.
  • Knicks coach David Fizdale deserves part of the blame for the team’s horrendous start to the 2019/20 season, Tommy Beer of Forbes writes. New York has kicked off the season at 0-3, dropping games to San Antonio, Brooklyn and Boston.
  • Celtics center Tacko Fall made his long-awaited NBA debut on Saturday, checking in to cheers from an electric Madison Square Garden crowd against the Knicks, Marc Berman and George Willis write for the New York Post. Fall, a 7-foot-5 center on a two-way deal with Boston, tallied four points and three rebounds in just over three minutes of action.

Free Agent Rumors: Holiday, Cousins, Burke, More

Free agent swingman Justin Holiday has received interest from the Lakers, Clippers, Bulls, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards, Hornets, and Cavaliers, league sources tell Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Given how quickly most of the top players came off the market, Holiday represents one of the more intriguing options available, given his ability to knock down three-pointers (1.8 3PG on 35.4% shooting over the last three years) and defend on the perimeter.

According to Scotto, the Grizzlies are open to the idea of accommodating a sign-and-trade deal involving Holiday, so a team with interest in him could potentially acquire him using a trade exception if it doesn’t want to cut into its mid-level.

Here’s more on a few NBA free agents:

  • Wizards interim head of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard briefly spoke with free agent big man DeMarcus Cousins in Las Vegas, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link). A previous report indicated there was virtually no chance of Cousins signing with Washington, and Buckner cautions that the conversation was described as small talk, but she still refers to it as an “interesting development.”
  • The Lakers are in the mix for free agent point guard Trey Burke, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link). Los Angeles still has plenty of roster spots to fill, so it’s not clear how high Burke is on the team’s wish list.
  • Veteran NBA big man Darrell Arthur, who sat out last season after being waived by Phoenix in October, is considering a comeback and is open to continuing his career overseas, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
  • ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Marc J. Spears, and Ohm Youngmisuk spoke to coaches, scouts, and executives at the Utah and California Summer Leagues to get their thoughts on free agency so far. Among the highlights: McMahon writes that a number of rival executives and scouts believe the Rockets dodged a bullet by not landing Jimmy Butler.
  • The Suns have formally renounced their free agent rights to several players, including Dragan Bender, Jamal Crawford, Jimmer Fredette, and Ray Spalding, per RealGM’s transactions log.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Pacific Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Pacific Division:

Klay Thompson, Warriors, 29, SG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $69MM deal in 2015
The smart money has Kevin Durant signing elsewhere this summer, which makes it more imperative for Golden State to keep its dynamic backcourt intact. The Warriors would probably have to max out Thompson at $190MM over five years and ownership appears willing to do so. If not, rivals with ample cap space would certainly give him a four-year, $140MM deal, the max they could offer. In any case, Thompson won’t have to take a discount the way the market figures to play out. Even in a somewhat down year by his standards, he still had the sixth-most 3-point makes in the NBA.

Reggie Bullock, Lakers, 28, SG (Down) — Signed to a two-year, $5MM deal in 2017
The cap-strapped Pistons figured they couldn’t re-sign Bullock, so they traded him to the Lakers for a couple of assets. He was Detroit’s most reliable wing player but things didn’t go well for him in L.A. He never got into a shooting rhythm with the Lakers, as the career 39.2% long-range gunner made just 34.3% of his 3-point shots. Bullock’s price tag might have gone down somewhat, though he should still field some multi-year offers. He might even return to Detroit, where he played four seasons, if the Pistons can fit him into their budget.

Rodney McGruder, Clippers, 27, SF (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $3.4MM deal in 2016
McGruder finished his season in the Clippers organization, though he’s ineligible for the playoffs. Miami put him on waivers to get under the luxury tax and the Clippers claimed him. The Clippers gained control of his Early Bird rights and can make him a restricted free agent by extending a $3MM qualifying offer. It seems that McGruder might benefit from Miami’s surprising move, as he could claim a rotation role with his new club depending upon how well they do in free agency. If they choose not to give him a QO, he should be able to secure a contract on the open market befitting a second-unit player.

Jamal Crawford, Suns, 39, SG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2.39MM deal in 2018
How crazy is this? Crawford entered the league in 2000, the same year Zion Williamson was born. They could be teammates next season. That’s if Crawford decides re-sign with Phoenix. He wants to play at least another year and why not? This week, Crawford became the oldest player in NBA history to record a 50-point game. Crawford appeared in 64 games with Phoenix after playing a minimum of 79 the previous three years. He’ll be providing offense off the bench somewhere next season, a tribute to his preparation, perseverance and durability.

Willie Cauley-Stein, Kings, 25, C (Down)– Signed to a four-year, $15.35MM deal in 2015
Cauley-Stein said prior to the season he was “ready to get paid” after his walk year. He started all but one game this season for Sacramento but didn’t really enhance his value. He’s not a shot-blocker. He doesn’t rebound particularly well for his size. He can’t shoot free throws, nor does he pose much of an offensive threat. The Kings can make him a restricted free agent by extending a $6.25MM qualifying offer but even that’s not a given. Cauley-Stein will certainly get a raise compared to his rookie deal but it probably won’t be what he expected.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jamal Crawford Not Contemplating Retirement

Longtime NBA guard Jamal Crawford recently called 2018/19 the “most challenging” year of his career so far, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to retire at season’s end. Despite a dip in his numbers with the Suns (6.6 PPG on .373/.302/.822 shooting), Crawford is adamant that he’s not considering calling it a career quite yet. Speaking to Gina Mizell of The Athletic, the 39-year-old explained his thinking.

“Oh, no,” Crawford said to Mizell when asked about retirement. “That’s the part I hate — the perception because of how things went this year. You may look at the numbers and (see) I’m only taking six shots a game. I think it’s to be applauded (for me to) say, ‘Hey, when I go in, I’m not going to jack up every shot.’ … This is the most assists I’ve averaged (since 2008/09). I’m truly trying to see others grow. I think we should look at that part of it. I’m passing more than I ever have.”

Crawford’s conversation with Mizell touched on several other topics and, if you’re an Athletic subscriber, it’s worth checking out in full. Here are a few more of the veterans’ noteworthy comments from the Q&A:

On why Crawford referred to this season as the most challenging of his career:

“First off, my family isn’t here. This is the first time we’ve been separated, because I signed so late. I’m playing point guard more than I ever have. It’s not a bad thing; it’s just a different challenge. And then I’m a big rhythm and flow type of player, so I think the minutes (I’m playing) have been challenging to try to somehow still be effective. And then losing. I’ve only missed the playoffs once this decade, and the one time I missed it before this year was the lockout season (in 2011/12).”

On his priorities heading into free agency this summer:

“Fit will be important for me. I’m an acquired taste. I get it. What I bring to the table is an acquired thing. This is the first year since 2002 I haven’t averaged double figures. (I did it) 16 straight years. I’ve won two out of the last five Sixth Man (of the Year) Awards. I think fit is so important for me.”

On the importance of veterans like him in NBA locker rooms:

“Every team needs them, to be honest with you. No disrespect to young players, because when I came in, I was on the youngest team in the league my first two years. But I didn’t start learning to become a pro until I got veterans around me. Charles Oakley. Rick Brunson. Scottie Pippen. All these guys. I think we need more veteran players in locker rooms, because they’ve been through it. If they can tell young guys something that they maybe (don’t have) to experience, that they can learn from, then why not?”

Pacific Notes: Bogut, Rivers, Crawford, Buss

Andrew Bogut returned to the Warriors this month after spending the last three years away from the team, rejoining the franchise he won a championship with in 2015. Bogut played a key role on that championship squad, forever stamping his mark in history as the club’s starting center.

The break-up between Bogut and the Warriors was rather simple, and both sides understood one another: Golden State cleared cap space as the summer of 2016 approached, gearing up for a run at Kevin Durant in free agency. Bogut was one of the players separated at the time.

“Look, I’m not stupid, man,” Bogut told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “The dude they made cap space for, I mean, look who he is. I’m not an idiot. You know, if it was someone else, a 12th man, I’d be pissed. But it’s one of the best players in basketball. So I totally get it.

“Was I disappointed? Of course. I wasn’t happy to get traded from a team that just went 73-9, went to the Finals, thought we had a chance to win it, but didn’t. But as far as hating the Warriors? No. I kept in touch with all the guys in this locker room — Andre, Draymond, Steph, Klay at times. Former guys like Harrison. Steve would text me.”

With no hard feelings or ill will toward the team, Bogut left Australia and returned to Oakland for what could be another championship run in the spring. He’s expected to provide frontcourt depth and a veteran presence for the club, with the 34-year-old having already played multiple seasons with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and other former teammates.

Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division tonight:

  • Players on the Clippers appreciate the long-term commitment given by head coach Doc Rivers this week, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes. Rivers revealed that he and team owner Steve Ballmer verbally agreed on a contract extension last summer, one that will likely become official in the coming months. “It’s gonna be fun,” Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said. “Obviously, I like playing for Doc. Good coach. He’s helped me get better in ways I couldn’t have imagined. The fact that he’s committed to us the same way we’re committed to him every night on the floor is cool.”
  • Suns veteran Jamal Crawford reflected on his season in Phoenix, calling this year “the most challenging year by far on so many levels” of his NBA career. “This is a younger team and I’m having to lead more,” Crawford said, as relayed by Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. “I’m talking more than I ever have as well. Just different challenges.” Phoenix has the second-worst record in the league at 17-55, with Crawford stepping into more of a leadership role to help the team’s younger players.
  • Jeanie Buss has a golden opportunity to become more of an active owner with the Lakers following their disappointing season, Bill Oram of The Athletic writes. The underwhelming acquisitions made by president Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka, a lack of overall camaraderie between the players, and an awkward fit on the court have generated questions from fans and league observers, something Buss will have to take a closer look at during the offseason.

Pacific Notes: Cousins, Crawford, Johnson

The NBA has rescinded DeMarcus Cousins‘ technical foul for tossing Jeremy Lamb‘s shoe during Monday’s game against the Hornets, a source tells Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. Cousins tossed the shoe out of bounds and was upset with the referee calling the technical.

“Next time I’ll just step on the shoe and roll my ankle, break it, tear an Achilles,” Cousins said after the game. “Just leave it out there next time. I guess that’s what they want. I’ll keep that in mind.”

Cousins missed nearly a year while rehabbing from an Achilles injury. He’s appeared in 14 games for the Warriors so far this year and he’s been called for five technical fouls outside of the shoe-tossing experience. In his career, Cousins has received 123 technical fouls and has been ejected on 13 of those occasions.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Jamal Crawford doesn’t necessarily feel like this will be his final season in the league, as he tells Sekou Smith of NBA.com. “I can keep going and going. And I will, as long as someone feels like I can bring something to the table, I’ll be here. No limits,” Crawford said.
  • Crawford added (in the same piece) that he is enjoying his role as a veteran on the Suns despite not receiving the same type of opportunity that he’s been accustomed to. “I know I can still play at a high level, and can do much more then I am on the court,” he said. “But this particular role at this time has turned into me trying to help others grow their game, and not about my own personal whatever … and there is a beauty in that as well.”
  • Tyler Johnson is still getting adjusted to life on the Suns, but he’s embracing the challenges of learning a new system, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes. “Just like any big transition in your life, it’s going to take a minute to get settled,” Johnson said. “But I think it’s just how you approach it. You can look at things as a negative…or you know, you can embrace it. And that’s what I’ve chosen to do, is just embrace it and I know good things will come from it.”