Jamal Crawford

Celtics, Jamal Crawford Have ‘Mutual Interest’

The Celtics and veteran free agent guard Jamal Crawford have “mutual interest,” according to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss.

Weiss made that revelation during a CLNS Celtics Beat podcast and the comments were relayed by A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.

The Celtics are seeking “more 3-point shooting” and that’s something Crawford can provide. As for Crawford, who opted out of his contract with the Timberwolves early in the summer, he’s chasing a ring.

According to Weiss, “He wants to be in a position to win a championship, and so he wants to sign on with one of these title teams … He’s really valuable for playoff teams that … just want to have somebody to carry them for a couple minutes in the third quarter or something like that. And I think he can still do that to a certain degree.”

The Celtics currently have a fully-stocked roster, including 15 players with guaranteed contracts. However, shooting guard Jabari Bird‘s future is very much in doubt after his arraignment on assault and kidnapping charges.

The Sixers and Lakers are also reportedly among the contenders for Crawford’s services.

Southeast Rumors: Waiters, Dedmon, Pope, Satoransky

Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters may not be ready for the beginning of the regular season, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Teammate Briante Weber told Jackson that Waiters, who underwent ankle surgery in January, has not participated in any contact work or pickup games with his teammates. With Dwyane Wade continuing to waffle on whether he’ll re-sign with the team, Miami could pursue other free agent options, Jackson adds, with Jamal Crawford, Mario Chalmers and Joe Johnson among a pool of potential targets.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon, who suffered an avulsion fracture in his left ankle last week, has shed his walking boot, according to a team press release. He will now participate in weight-bearing rehabilitation and then be re-evaluated in two weeks. Dedmon, who will make $7.2MM this season, will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
  • The Magic are close to hiring Bill Pope as their director of pro personnel, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Pope currently holds a similar position with the Kings.
  • Tomas Satoransky will enter camp as the Wizards’ backup point guard but there’s no guarantee he’ll remain in the rotation, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes in a player profile. Satoransky had trouble holding onto that spot last season and newcomer Austin Rivers and Troy Brown Jr. can play the point behind John Wall if needed. There’s also more depth at the wing, reducing the chances of Satoransky seeing action at those positions, Hughes adds.

Sixers, Lakers Interested In Jamal Crawford

The Sixers and Lakers both have interest in signing veteran guard Jamal Crawford, according to Marc Spears of EPSN (hat tip to Miguel Gargaritano of Clutch Points).

Appearing on “The Jump,” Spears said Crawford isn’t close to making a decision on a new team, but Philadelphia and L.A. are among the contenders. The 38-year-old also had contact with Golden State, but the Warriors won’t have a roster spot to offer if Patrick McCaw re-signs.

Crawford spent last season with the Timberwolves, but was frustrated by a lack of playing time. He appeared in 80 games, but averaged just 20.7 minutes per night, the lowest since his rookie year, and saw his numbers decline across the board from where they had been with the Clippers.

The Sixers have 19 players signed and 14 guaranteed contracts, so they have room to add Crawford. He would bring firepower to the reserve unit and give the team a much-needed 3-point shooter.

The Lakers also have 19 players under contract with 14 guaranteed. Crawford would add a veteran presence to the L.A. backcourt, which is short on outside shooters to help stretch the floor for LeBron James.

Atlantic Notes: Noah, Porzingis, Atkinson, Crawford

As we relayed earlier this week, the Knicks are expected to part ways with oft-injured center Joakim Noah before the start of training camp. If the Knicks fail to find a trading partner, the team is expected to use the stretch provision after September 1. Noah, 33, still has two years and $37.8MM left on his deal.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News examined both the good and bad sides of the Knicks parting ways with Noah this offseason. It would likely avoid a major headache and possible players’ union issue if the Knicks refuse to play Noah. Bondy reiterates that the deadline to solve the Noah issue is not September 1 but rather next summer when New York intends to pursue top free agents.

The Nets dealing Timofey Mozgov‘s lucrative multiyear contract for an expiring deal is one example of a team leveraging an albatross deal into future cap space. The Knicks’ best choice would be to hold onto Noah and look for trades instead of stretching his contract, Bondy writes.

Check out more Atlantic Division notes:

  • In the same story, Bondy looked at the pros and cons of the Knicks extending Kristaps Porzingis this offseason. On one hand, New York should lock up its best player since Patrick Ewing amid an unstable environment, with Porzingis set to play for the fourth coach of his career in 2018/19. Conversely, the Knicks plan to make use of their cap room in 2019, and extending the Latvian now would eat into that space — the team could simply let him hit restricted free agency and then negotiate or match any offer.
  • Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson denied the franchise has contemplated tanking in order to secure more favorable draft positioning, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Instead, Atkinson says the goal is to play as well as possible so Brooklyn becomes a desirable free agency destination. “We talk about internal improvement, we talk about player development, we talk about culture,” Atkinson said. “Tanking is not a word we use. It’s just not in our [vocabulary]. I don’t think the fans in New York want to see that.”
  • Following an injury to rookie Zhaire Smith, the Sixers may be in the market for wing depth, and veteran sharpshooter Jamal Crawford could fit the bill. In a recent appearance on Brandon Robinson’s Scoop B Podcast, Crawford spoke glowingly of Philadelphia and what playing there would mean to him (via Amico Hoops). “I like their city. I like how into it they are about basketball. I like their knowledge of basketball, how passionate they are. I’ve always loved coach Brett Brown,” Crawford said.

Wizards Express Interest In Crawford, Mbah A Moute, Others

The Wizards lost one key member of their bench when Mike Scott reached an agreement with the Clippers on Monday, but the team has remained active in search of potential free agent additions.

According to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter links), the Wizards have expressed interest in a number of veteran free agents, including Jamal Crawford, Luc Mbah a Moute, Dante Cunningham, and Willie Reed. Ty Lawson, who finished last season in D.C., also remains a possibility to return, Buckner adds.

The Wizards’ backcourt is getting pretty crowded, with Tomas Satoransky and newly-acquired Austin Rivers slotting in behind John Wall and Bradley Beal. Jodie Meeks and rookie Troy Brown could also see some time at the two, so it’s not clear whether Crawford, who will want a featured role off the bench, would be a good fit in Washington.

However, Mbah a Moute, Cunningham, and Reed make more sense as potential targets for the Wizards. Mbah a Moute and Cunningham are versatile forwards capable of knocking down three-pointers, while Reed is a big man who could add depth to a Wizards frontcourt that no longer features Marcin Gortat.

The Wizards have also been linked to Dwight Howard, Jeff Green, Treveon Graham, and Thomas Robinson, among other free agents.

Free Agent Rumors: Crawford, Ellington, Bjelica, Williams

The Sixers are interested in veteran free agent guard Jamal Crawford, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Crawford could fortify a bench that has lost Ersan Ilyasovaand Marco Belinelli since the start of free agency. Crawford, 38, averaged 10.3 PPG in 20.7 MPG for the Timberwolves last season. The Pelicans, Cavaliers, Warriors and Nuggets are also reportedly in the mix for Crawford, who opted out of his contract with Minnesota and left $4.54MM on the table.

In other news regarding the free agent market:

  • Unrestricted free agent shooting guard Wayne Ellington has drawn significant interest but he’s viewed as a good bet to re-sign with the Heat, Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports tweets. Miami has a cap hold of $8.15MM on Ellington, who appeared in 77 games and averaged 11.2 PPG in 26.5 MPG while shooting 39.2% from long range.
  • The Jazz have a strong interest in Nemanja Bjelica, Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. The Timberwolves pulled their qualifying offer to the power forward in order to sign Anthony Tolliver, thus making Bjelica an unrestricted free agent.
  • The Knicks are interested in Alan Williams if he clears waivers, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The Suns waived the power forward/center on Monday. The Knicks have also reached out to free agent power forwards Amir Johnson and Trevor Booker, Berman adds.
  • Williams hasn’t ruled out a return to the Suns but his agent has already heard from a handful of teams interested in his services, according to Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic. Williams, who appeared in only five games last season due to a knee injury, had a non-guaranteed salary of $5.5MM for next season and will likely get through waivers.
  • The Lakers have renounced their free-agent exception rights to guard Andre Ingram and power forward Travis Wear, according to the RealGM transactions log. The Lakers had a cap hold of $1.338MM on Ingram and $1.5MM on Wear. Ingram appeared in two games with Los Angeles last season, while Wear saw action in 17 games.
  • The Suns renounced their free-agent exception rights to center Alex Len, according to the RealGM transaction log. The Suns had a $7.96MM cap hold on Len. He appeared in 69 games last season but became expendable when they drafted Deandre Ayton.

Spears’ Latest: Crawford, Rockets, Rondo, Evans

We heard on Thursday that multiple Warriors players are lobbying for the front office to go after Jamal Crawford in free agency, but Golden State isn’t the only team that will kick the tires on the veteran scorer. According to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, the Pelicans, Sixers, Cavaliers, and Nuggets are also expected to show interest in Crawford, who is focusing on finding the right fit.

“For any player in free agency, fit and situation is so important,” Crawford told Spears. “You see players in one situation and they go to another and they look totally different. I’ve been around long enough to know that the player didn’t change. May just be the situation that he’s in. There is nothing wrong with that either. It’s all a part of growing and taking something positive out of that.

“For me, fit and situation may be even more important, because coming off the bench, you have to be able to make something happen for your team in a smaller amount of time,” Crawford continued. “So I truly have to have the right fit, and that was part of the reason I opted out (of his contract with the Timberwolves).”

Spears passes along several more notes on free-agents-to-be, so let’s round up the highlights…

  • In addition to working on re-signing Chris Paul and Clint Capela, the Rockets will also make an effort to retain Luc Mbah a Moute and Gerald Green, according to Spears, who suggests that Trevor Ariza could end up as the odd man out in Houston.
  • Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins are good friends, but Rondo would like to re-sign with the Pelicans regardless of whether Cousins stays or goes, per Spears.
  • The Grizzlies have interest in re-signing Tyreke Evans, but there’s a belief that he’ll be too expensive for Memphis to retain him, according to Spears. The Grizzlies don’t have Evans’ Bird rights, so they can only offer him their mid-level exception.
  • Although Avery Bradley is considered likely to land elsewhere, the Clippers do have interest in re-signing him, a source tells Spears.

Warriors Stars Lobbying For Jamal Crawford

Multiple Warriors stars are lobbying for the front office to pursue – and sign – Jamal Crawford, reports Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Crawford, who spent 2017/18 with the Timberwolves, turned down his player option for next season, and will reach the open market.

According to Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant are among the players who have pushed for the Warriors to go after Crawford. Stephen Curry is on board too, as are multiple assistant coaches, Thompson notes.

While Bob Myers‘ level of interest in Crawford is unclear, the support within the organization for the veteran shooting guard will be enough to get the Warriors GM on the phone with Crawford’s agent – Aaron Goodwin – when free agency begins this weekend, says Thompson. The club would be able to offer Crawford a minimum-salary contract or part or all of the taxpayer mid-level exception, which will start at about $5.3MM.

[RELATED: Will Warriors use mid-level exception?]

As Thompson observes, Crawford may not be an ideal fit for a Warriors team looking to get younger, but his willingness to let shots fly is a key trait on a squad featuring so many other stars. With Durant, Curry, and Klay Thompson receiving increased attention from opposing defenses, the Warriors want role players who won’t be afraid to shoot the ball when they have open looks, and Crawford certainly fits that bill.

Crawford, 38, has averaged 15.0 PPG with a .349 3PT% in 1,262 career regular season contests. With Minnesota in 2017/18, those numbers slipped to 10.3 PPG and .331 3PT%.

And-Ones: Wanamaker, Jeanne, Crawford, G League

The Celtics are giving strong consideration to signing Euroleague star Brad Wanamaker, international basketball journalist David Pick tweets. Wanamaker, the MVP of the Turkish finals with Fenerbahce, is a 28-year-old, 6’4” shooting guard who went undrafted in 2011. He has spent most of his pro career overseas, though he had a stint in 2012 with the G League’s Austin Toros. The Magic, Nets, Sixers and Heat have also expressed interest in him, according to Pick. However, Wanamaker has a $3.8MM contract with Barcelona that runs through 2020, so he may stay in Europe, Pick adds in another tweet.

In other news on the domestic and international front:

  • Jonathan Jeanne, who was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, has been cleared by his doctor to play, his agent told Sportando. Jeanne, a 7’1” center from France, was considered a potential first-round prospect before the diagnosis was made last June. He went undrafted and now will explore all international possibilities, Sportando adds.
  • Veteran guard Jamal Crawford is looking for the best fit in free agency after deciding to opt out, he told Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Crawford insisted he wasn’t unhappy with the Timberwolves, despite leaving $4.5MM on the table. “For me, it’s just fit. I don’t think anything’s wrong (in Minnesota),” Crawford told Krawczynski. “There’s nothing wrong that’s not wrong anywhere else. It’s the NBA. Everybody’s not going to get along every second. That’s not realistic.”
  • The G League Expansion Draft will be held August 22, tweets 2 Ways & 10 Days. The only team utilizing the draft is the Capital City Go-Go, the new affiliate of the Wizards.
  • How does a swap of Chander Parsons and the Grizzlies’ picks at No. 4 and No. 32 for the Clippers’ lottery picks at No. 12 and No. 13 plus Danilo Gallinari sound? ESPN’s Insiders throws out a number of trade scenarios heading into the draft.
  • Longtime NBA coach Larry Brown officially signed his contract to coach Fiat Torino in Italy, Sportando relays.

Jamal Crawford Opts Out Of Wolves Contract

JUNE 18: Crawford has declined his 2018/19 option, league sources tell Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).Jamal Crawford of the Minnesota Timberwolves

MAY 2: Veteran shooting guard Jamal Crawford will turn down a player option that would have paid him $4,544,400 for the 2018/19 season, reports Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. Crawford, who signed with the Timberwolves last summer, will hit the free agent market rather than opting into the second year of his contract with the club.

Crawford, 38, joined the Wolves after being traded from the Clippers to the Hawks and then reaching a buyout agreement with Atlanta. In his first – and potentially only – season in Minnesota, the 18-year vet averaged 10.3 PPG and 2.3 APG with a shooting line of .415/.331/.903.

Haynes’ report doesn’t give any hints about what Crawford’s next move will be, but it’s safe to say he’ll be looking for a role on a contending team. Declining his player option doesn’t necessarily mean that Crawford won’t return to the Timberwolves, since the two sides could, in theory, work out a new deal. In fact, Haynes says in a follow-up tweet that Jimmy Butler has told management he’d like to have Crawford back next season.

Still, Minnesota already has more than $110MM in guaranteed salary on its books for 2018/19, and wants to add wings who can shoot threes and defend multiple positions. While Crawford fits that bill to some extent, the Wolves will likely be seeking more traditional three-and-D players, so it’s not clear whether he’ll be part of their plans.

Several veterans have already exercised – or will exercise – their player options for 2018/19, since there’s a belief that league-wide spending in free agency will be down this summer. However, Crawford’s option salary of $4.5MM+ was fairly modest, and he has already earned over $100MM in his NBA career, as our Austin Kent noted on Tuesday. As such, turning down that option isn’t a major gamble. Even if he gives up a couple million dollars and settles for a minimum-salary deal this offseason, Crawford would likely be willing to trade that money for a legit shot at a title.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.