Jamal Crawford

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.

Wolves Rumors: Butler, Wiggins, Jones, Dieng

Jimmy Butler will have the opportunity to opt out and sign a new contract with the Timberwolves a year from now, but Sean Deveney of The Sporting News hears from sources familiar with the situation that Butler is uncertain about playing alongside Andrew Wiggins in the long term. According to Deveney, Butler had issues last season related to Wiggins’ work ethic and defensive approach.

As Deveney details, head coach Tom Thibodeau has had similar gripes with Wiggins in the past, and had hoped that bringing in a “tough-minded” veteran like Butler would motivate the former No. 1 pick to improve. However, it didn’t seem to help much.

While the Wolves figure to explore the trade market for Wiggins this summer, it will be hard to find a viable deal with his five-year, maximum-salary contract set to take effect, Deveney notes.

Here’s more from Deveney on the Wolves:

  • Thibodeau’s use of his bench continues to be a source of friction in Minnesota, with Tyus Jones among the backups adversely affected. A source tells Deveney that Jeff Teague suggested to Thibodeau last season that Jones should play more.
  • According to Deveney, Jones considered requesting a trade out of Minnesota, but Thibodeau “reasserted his support” of the young guard following the season, assuring Jones that his role will increase next season even if Derrick Rose is re-signed, due to the presumed departure of Jamal Crawford.
  • While the Wolves don’t appear likely to move Jones, they’ll look to deal highly-priced backup Gorgui Dieng, per Deveney.
  • I touched on several of these topics earlier this week in my preview of the Timberwolves’ offseason.

Jamal Crawford Talks Butler, Thibodeau, Free Agency, Future

Jamal Crawford is coming off his 18th NBA season and was part of the Timberwolves‘ first postseason team in 13 seasons. The seasoned veteran once again played at least 79 games and proved that he can be a valuable asset to a playoff team.

After his first season in Minnesota, Crawford can hit free agency if he decides to decline his 2018/19 player option — it has been reported that he’ll do so. The 38-year-old has played for seven teams in his career and could be headed for an eighth.

Crawford, who averaged 10.3 PPG this season, joined Alex Kennedy on The HoopsHype Podcast to discuss his first season in Minnesota. Crawford also discussed his admiration for teammate Jimmy Butler, criticism of head coach Tom Thibodeau, and his future.

On playing with Butler:

“No, we don’t talk about him enough. To go back a little bit, it was even better playing with him than I thought it would be. He’s such a great teammate, he’s such a great person, he’s as solid as a rock as far as if he gives you his word, that’s it — you don’t have to worry about that. On the court, he does everything for you, he creates offense for his teammates, he creates offense for himself. He hits the big shots, he wants the big shots. He locks up the best player on the opposing team; he can lock up anybody.”

On Thibodeau being criticized for the idea that he plays certain guys too heavily:

“That’s a tough one to answer. I’ll just say that we guys on the bench can absolutely bring something to the table and help in some way. I think as you see teams in the playoffs especially, it takes more than five guys. Thibs is a smart guy, he understands that as well. He likes what he likes and we have to do the best we can to support and try to stay as ready as possible.”

On whether or not he has made a decision on his player option:

“No not a firm decision. I don’t have to firmly make a decision until a couple of weeks from now. I’ll take time with it and deal with it then”

On how much longer he thinks he will play:

“I don’t know, I honestly don’t know. I’ll definitely know when it’s time [to retire].”

Wolves Notes: Rose, Jones, Wiggins, Crawford

The Timberwolves are very interested in re-signing free agent guard Derrick Rose, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Rose turned into a valuable reserve after coming to Minnesota following a late-season buyout. He played just nine regular season games for the Wolves, but became a force in the playoffs, averaging 14.2 points and making seven of 10 3-pointers in the series with the Rockets.

Rose also played well defensively and proved himself to be a good teammate, Krawczynski adds, two attributes he didn’t display during his time in Cleveland. Minnesota’s only concern in bringing Rose back is his injury history, as he was sidelined for a while with a sprained ankle after joining the Wolves. Rose has excelled under Tom Thibodeau and wants to be with a coach he trusts after five unsettled seasons.

Krawczynski offers more insight into the Timberwolves in a mailbag column:

  • A return by Rose would continue to limit the playing time for Tyus Jones, who saw his minutes decline after the Rose signing. Without roster changes, Jones would enter his fourth season as the third point guard on the depth chart.
  • The front office may consider an Andrew Wiggins trade if the Wolves can find a better fit in return. The team needs to quickly take steps to become a serious contender with Jimmy Butler entering his option year, Krawczynski states, and dealing Wiggins or Gorgui Dieng might be necessary to make that happen. Both players have large contracts that will make them difficult to unload. A max extension for Wiggins kicks in next season, and Dieng is owed nearly $48.7MM over the next three seasons. Wiggins’ trade value is low coming off an underwhelming fourth NBA season, and Krawczynski thinks the franchise may decide to hold onto him and hope he can develop into an All-Star.
  • One suggested deal would send Wiggins to the Raptors as part of a package for DeMar DeRozan, but there’s no evidence that Toronto is ready for a roster shakeup, even after firing coach Dwane Casey. A Butler-DeRozan combination would have many of the same issues as Butler and Wiggins, Krawczynski notes, including a lack of 3-point shooting.
  • Don’t count on veteran guard Jamal Crawford returning for another season, even though Butler would prefer to keep him. The 38-year-old complained this season about Thibodeau’s reluctance to use his bench, and things are unlikely to change as Crawford gets older.

Northwest Notes: Anthony, Presti, Crawford, Snyder

Carmelo Anthony joined the Thunder last September as both a star in decline and a valuable piece for a team hoping to contend for a championship. A disappointing regular season and early postseason exit later, Anthony’s future in Oklahoma City is murky and he lacks self-awareness of his own decline, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman writes.

“I think everybody knows that I’ve sacrificed kind of damned near everything … sacrificed my game for the sake of the team and was willing to sacrifice anything and everything in order for this situation to work out,” Anthony said at his end of season media session. “So it’s something I really have to think about, if I really want to … finish out my career as this type of player, knowing that I have so much left in the tank and I bring so much to the game of basketball.”

The reality is, Anthony shot a career-worst 40.4% from the field, averaged below 20.0 PPG for the first time in his career, and was a virtual non-factor in the playoffs. Anthony also vocalized that he will not take a bench role next season. With declining skills paired with the belief he is still elite, Anthony could be suiting up for a new team next season if he agrees to a buyout or declines his $28MM option.

Check out more Northwest Division notes below:

  • In a separate column, Tramel writes about Anthony’s time with the Thunder, suggesting that – despite a few notable contributions – it’s likely over for him in Oklahoma City.
  • Erik Horne of The Oklahoman examined four pressing questions that Thunder general manager Sam Presti will have to address this offseason. Among those is Anthony’s future, Billy Donovan‘s coaching, Paul George‘s future in Oklahoma City, and how much better Russell Westbrook can be.
  • Brad Rock of The Deseret News writes that Jazz coach Quin Snyder is further cementing his case as one of the NBA’s smartest coaches as Utah spars with the Rockets in the second round of the playoffs.
  • Michael Rand of the Star Tribune writes that Jamal Crawford opting out of his deal with the Timberwolves was likely the best-case scenario for both sides. The 38-year-old, Rand writes, is neither an efficient player or a defensively strong one. Conversely, Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune ponders whether Crawford opting out signals trouble for Minnesota’s efforts to attract solid bench options.
  • While the Timberwolves ended a 13-year postseason drought this season, things were not all that great behind the scenes, per Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). Minnesota reached the playoffs, has several star players, and revenue is up from previous seasons but that hasn’t helped matters. “There should be a ton to celebrate, right? Just on the surface. You look at those things. But I’m telling you, there is so much angst, and I’m telling you, disconnect behind the scenes,” Wolfson said.
  • Sean Deveney of Sporting News previewed the Timberwolves‘ offseason, which will include decisions on current players and possible free agents.