Jamal Crawford

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.”

Suns Notes: Arena, Bender, Trade Candidates, Kokoskov

The Phoenix City Council approved a $230MM deal tonight for improvements to Talking Stick Resort Arena that will ensure the Suns remain in the downtown facility through 2037, writes Jessica Boehm of The Arizona Republic. Under the agreement, the city will cover $150MM in renovations, while the team will be responsible for $80MM, plus any overruns.

Council also agreed to put $2MM per year into a renewal and replacement fund over the next 12 1/2 years to cover future renovation needs. The Suns will contribute $1MM each year over that same time frame. The franchise will continue to be in charge of operations and maintenance for the arena and will pay rent to the city based on annual proceeds.

The Suns will also build a practice facility with an estimated cost of $25-$50MM. The team pledges to remain at Talking Stick Resort Arena for the next 18 years with an option to extend the lease through 2042. The Suns could be fined up to $200MM if they break that lease.

There’s more Suns news to pass along:

  • With Deandre Ayton and Richaun Holmes both injured, Dragan Bender may be looking at his last chance to prove he can be a contributor in Phoenix, notes Gina Mizell of The Athletic. Bender posted double-doubles in back-to-back starts and is showing glimpses of why Phoenix made him the fourth overall pick in 2016. He’s still averaging just 3.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per night in 16 games. “You have to (be) really, really hard mentally on yourself,” Bender said, “and be able to tell yourself each and every day to push through it. It’s a rough business. You can sit for 45 games, and then two guys went down with injuries — which is unfortunate — but it’s time to get in the game and show what you can do.”
  • Troy Daniels, Josh Jackson, Elie Okobo and T.J. Warren are the most likely Suns to be traded before the deadline, Mizell adds in a separate story. Daniels has only appeared in 22 games, playing mostly when others are injured; the acquisition of Kelly Oubre has lessened the need for Jackson; Okobo may be shipped out in the search for a point guard; and Warren might fetch a nice return in the middle of his career-best season. She adds that Bender, Holmes and Jamal Crawford may be enticing because they have expiring contracts.
  • Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic examines the performance of Igor Kokoskov in his first season as an NBA head coach.

Pacific Notes: Crawford, Green, Kings, Canaan

Jamal Crawford has positively impacted the Suns in his first season with the team, leading the club in the locker room and staying ready on the bench to provide production when called.

Crawford found that opportunity at the end of the team’s game on Friday, with the 38-year-old sinking a clutch game-winner against the Bucks in Milwaukee. His shot inspired the younger Suns players watching from afar.

“Sometimes, going from Point A to Point C is more gratifying than going (from) W to Z,” Crawford said, according to The Athletic’s Gina Mizell. “Seeing the young guys take steps in the right direction, (this is) stuff that can stick with them their whole career. It can be some of the foundation pieces. … When you get wins like this, it kind of cements this and opens their ears even more.”

Crawford, a 19-year NBA vet, was named the NBA’s Teammate of the Year last season. He’s averaged a career-low 13.2 minutes per game this year, but his impact with the team measures far beyond what he’s able to give on the court.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors forward Draymond Green recently underwent an MRI on his right toe, with the results confirming that he sustained a sprain, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. Green has missed the team’s last five games.
  • Kings general manager Vlade Divac raved about his team’s early season start, explaining his thoughts to NBC Sports California’s James Ham“I love it,” Divac said. “It’s a team that plays the way that I like and enjoy as a fan. This is basketball — when the whole team is involved in some way. They all share the ball, they cheer for each other, they all move around. Dave [Joerger] is doing a great job.”
  • Isaiah Canaan discussed his gruesome ankle injury from last season with The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson, stating he was unsure whether he’d ever return to basketball at the time. “There were a few times I did think my career was over,” Canaan said. “I just didn’t know what type of player I’d be, if I could be the same. But I also looked in the mirror and said, ‘This can’t be it and I’m going to work my a— off to get back.’ So I’m here.” Canaan has appeared in 17 games with the Suns this season, averaging 27.2 minutes per contest.

Pacific Rumors: Ingram, Crawford, Shumpert, Rivers

Lakers forward Brandon Ingram felt he got off easy after receiving a four-game suspension for instigating a fight between his team and the Rockets on Saturday night, he told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and Dave McMenamin and other media members. Ingram received the longest suspension doled out by the league but he thought it could be worse. Teammate Rajon Rondo and Houston’s Chris Paul also received suspensions. “Well, it was better than we expected,” Ingram said. “I’m happy it’s only four but I know I got to control my emotions a little better.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Veteran guard Jamal Crawford took only two shots in his Suns debut Saturday and that was by design, he told Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Crawford joined Phoenix on a one-year contract just before the season opener. “Missing training camp, missing preseason, you don’t want to come in and be ultra-aggressive,” he said. “You have a new team, you have a new coach and learning a new system so you don’t want to come and try to step on anybody’s toes. I’m sure the scoring part will come, but for me, I’m just trying to make the right play.”
  • Iman Shumpert feels a sense of satisfaction being back in uniform this season, according to Noel Harris of the Sacramento Bee. He was dealt to Sacramento by the Cavaliers at February’s trade deadline but didn’t suit up due to plantar fasciitis. He was bothered by a calf injury in training camp but was able to return for a preseason game. He then scored a team-best 26 points in the Kings’ first regular-season win over the Thunder. “Being able to play that preseason game, that was a different type of happiness for me after sitting out a year,” Shumpert said. “I joke around about it a lot, but I’m serious as a heart attack when I say it: I don’t wish that on anybody, not being able to play.” Shumpert needs to continue to produce, as he’ll enter the free agent market after making $11MM this season.
  • Doc Rivers doesn’t think he’d still be coaching the Clippers if the former star trio of Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan had remained with the team, as he told Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times“I needed the change. I wouldn’t have done this with the same group. I wouldn’t be here probably,” Rivers said. “We just needed change. We needed it and we just had to do it. We had to come to the conclusion we weren’t going to win.”

Suns Notes: Chandler, Canaan, Crawford, Ayton

At 36, Tyson Chandler may seem out of place on the rebuilding Suns, but he remains focused on providing the best possible example for his young teammates, writes Gina Mizell of The Athletic. Chandler, who is beginning his 18th NBA season, admits the process of getting ready is much different now than when he entered the league in 2001.

“When I was a rookie, I just had a bunch of nervous energy. You’re young and you can move all over the place,” he said. “Now everything is precise. Everything has a time. Even energy output, you just kind of measure everything you do now in this league. I used to get so pumped up. Now it’s all mental where I analyze what’s going on.”

Even so, Chandler isn’t ready to give up the NBA lifestyle. He hopes to reach at least 20 years in the league, although with an expiring contract that may happen somewhere other than Phoenix. He will help mentor No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton for now and may be a popular target at the trade deadline among teams that need frontcourt depth.

There’s more today out of Phoenix:

  • After experimenting with several options at point guard during the preseason, Isaiah Canaan will be the starter in tonight’s season opener, Mizell tweets. Coach Igor Kokoskov indicated that Devin Booker may finish out games at the position in an effort to get the best offensive lineup on the court.
  • Jamal Crawford finalized his contract with the Suns just in time for tonight’s game and is eager to get started with his new team. In a video posted by The Arizona Republic, the 38-year-old expressed confidence that Phoenix is moving in the right direction. “I feel re-energized, to be honest with you,” Crawford said. “I just like what the organization’s doing. I like the moves they’re making. I love the young players, I love the vets they brought in, so I’m excited.” Crawford said Kokoskov just asked him to be the same type of player he has been throughout his career.
  • Booker believes the addition of Ayton provides the chance to build a winner, relays Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Although Booker has blossomed into one of the NBA’s best young players, the Suns haven’t been competitive since he arrived. “It’s a start of his legacy,” Booker said of Ayton. “His new career. My job is to make it special for him and not make it like my first three years. So turn it around. Let him be known as a winner. Let our whole organization turn around to a winning franchise.”

Suns Officially Sign Jamal Crawford

The Suns have officially filled the 15th spot on their regular season roster by signing Jamal Crawford, according to NBA.com’s transactions log. The team created a roster opening on Tuesday by waiving Davon Reed.Jamal Crawford of the Minnesota Timberwolves

Crawford, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner, reached an agreement with the Suns on Monday and has now signed a one-year, minimum salary contract with the club.

Per the NBA’s log of transactions, Crawford’s signing was completed on Tuesday, the first day of the regular season. As such, he should receive a full-season minimum salary rather than a prorated portion of the minimum. He’ll earn $2,393,887 and will count for $1,512,601 against Phoenix’s cap.

Although several teams – including the Warriors, Celtics, Sixers, and Lakers – reportedly showed interest in Crawford over the course of the offseason, he had trouble finding a new NBA home after averaging 10.3 PPG on .415/.331/.903 shooting for the Timberwolves in 2017/18. The 38-year-old could have exercised a $4.5MM player option in June to stay in Minnesota, Crawford didn’t love the role he played with the Wolves and sought a better fit, turning down that option and hitting the open market.

Crawford’s new team, the Suns, likely envisions the veteran in a ball-handling role. Besides Isaiah Canaan, Phoenix doesn’t have another experienced point guard on the roster — rookies De’Anthony Melton and Elie Okobo will provide depth at that spot after the team waived Shaquille Harrison this week.

[RELATED: Sixers Turned Down Suns’ Trade Offer For T.J. McConnell]

Besides Reed and Harrison, the Suns also cut Darrell Arthur, clearing the way for Crawford, Richaun Holmes, and Canaan to make the team. Holmes and Canaan both have non-guaranteed deals.

Crawford isn’t expected to be active for the Suns’ home opener against Dallas tonight, head coach Igor Kokoskov said today (Twitter link via Gina Mizell of The Athletic).