Jordan Crawford

Central Notes: Markkanen, Crawford, Boylen, Bulls

The Bulls are preparing for Lauri Markkanen to make a major splash in his third season with the franchise, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports writes.

Markkanen missed part of last season due to a right elbow injury, but the 22-year-old still showed promise by averaging 18.7 points, nine rebounds and 32.3 minutes in 52 contests.

“I think (management) did a really good job drafting and getting high character free agents,” Markkanen said about his team’s success in free agency. “Everybody is coming along really well in our workouts. I’ve played against Thad. He’s a really good player. He’s very physical. And what he really does is lead vocally. I’ve really enjoyed talking to him and working out with him.”

The Bulls added to an already-strong young core of Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Wendell Carter Jr. in free agency, acquiring the likes of Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young on multi-year deals.

The goal for Chicago now, Markkanen explains, is using its new roster additions to make a long-awaited push for the playoffs next spring.

“That’s our goal,” Markkanen said. “Personally for me, just missing the playoffs and having such long offseasons, that’s a bummer. I would love to be in the playoffs. We’re just focused on improving every day.”

There’s more from the Central Division tonight:

  • Free agent guard Jordan Crawford has been working out with the Pistons ahead of training camp, according to Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops (Twitter link). Crawford has made past NBA stops with Golden State, Boston, Washington and Atlanta.
  • Bulls coach Jim Boylen has a chance to exercise his well-documented hard-nosed culture with the team at training camp, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Boylen took over head coaching duties when Fred Hoiberg was dismissed last December, with the second-year head coach having his first opportunity at running the franchise’s camp before the season.
  • In a different story for The Chicago Sun-Times, Cowley examines five potential Bulls storylines this upcoming season. The Bulls did a number of things to improve their team this offseason, including signing veterans, improving the bench, and successfully dealing with injuries.

And-Ones: Crawford, Injuries, Nowitzki, Moore

Jordan Crawford has 281 career regular season NBA games under his belt, but hasn’t played in 20 or more in a season since 2013/14 and didn’t appear in a single game in 2018/19. Still, it sounds as if he’s looking to catch on with a club for the coming season, as Sam Amico and Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops detail.

A source informed Stinar that Crawford, who is said to be in “great shape,” has recently worked out in front of scouts at UCLA. There’s no word yet on whether specific NBA teams might be interested in giving him a look this fall, but he showed last year in China that he can still score. In a brief, six-game stint with the Sichuan Blue Whales, Crawford poured in 36.5 PPG.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In an interesting article for, Zach Lowe examines the apparent shift to “Big Two” roster-building this offseason and explores which of those teams with dynamic duos may be in position to acquire for another star to create a “Big Three.” Lowe identifies the Nets and Mavericks as two intriguing possibilities, since Brooklyn has the assets necessary to make such a trade, while Dallas’ two young stars – Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis – aren’t as expensive as most top pairs around the league, creating an opportunity in free agency in 2021.
  • Several writers at The Athletic checked in on injured players around the NBA, making predictions on when we might see guys like Victor Oladipo, Jusuf Nurkic, and Paul George return to action.
  • When his final season as a player ended in the spring, Dirk Nowitzki said he could imagine having interest in eventually becoming the coach or general manager of a basketball franchise. Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness recently told Magenta Sport that he’d be open to the idea of bringing Nowitzki aboard in some role if the German big man wants to work in his home country (link via; translation via
  • Ben Moore, who recently signed with Turkish club Galatasaray S.K., received interest and two-way contract offers from multiple NBA teams, but the offer that ultimately swayed him to Turkey was “quite lucrative,” tweets Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops.

Jordan Crawford Set To Play In China

Jordan Crawford‘s 2018/19 international tour will continue in China, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, who hears from a source that the veteran NBA guard has agreed to a deal with the Sichaun Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association.

It has been an eventful season so far for Crawford, who had apparent deals with teams in Germany and China fall through in November and January, respectively. Crawford subsequently reached a contract agreement with Ironi Nahariya in Israel and spent a month with the team, averaging 17.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 3.8 APG in five games before becoming a free agent again.

A first-round draft pick in 2010, Crawford has appeared in 281 career regular season NBA games, averaging 12.2 PPG on .411/.317/.826 shooting. His most recent NBA stint came when he finished the 2017/18 campaign with the Pelicans, playing in five regular season games and a couple more playoff contests for the club.

The CBA season ends before the NBA season does, and Sichaun doesn’t project to be a playoff team, so Crawford could find himself on the lookout for a new home again before too long. While he may try to catch on with an NBA team down the stretch like he did last season in New Orleans, that seems like a longer shot this time around.

And-Ones: Team USA, Walton, J. Crawford, Draft

USA Basketball has announced its 13-man roster for the upcoming 2019 World Cup qualifiers, with the squad once again made up of NBA G League players. Of the 13 players on the roster, Reggie Hearn, Xavier Munford, Cameron Reynolds, and Travis Trice have suited up for previous World Cup qualifiers.

They’ll be joined by nine newcomers, including players with a little NBA experience like Chinanu Onuaku and Emanuel Terry.

Josh Adams, Kyle Casey, Chris Chiozza, Charles Cooke, Michael Frazier II, D.J. Hogg, and Tanner McGrew round out the roster.

Team USA, having gone 8-2 in previous qualifiers, has already earned its spot in the 2019 World Cup, so there won’t be as much pressure on this group for the games taking place in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 22 (vs. Panama) and February 25 (vs. Argentina).

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Michigan and Heat point guard Derrick Walton, who recently left his team in Lithuania, has signed with ALBA Berlin in Germany, according to the club (Twitter link; hat tip to Sportando). Walton was on a two-way contract with Miami last season and was in training camp with the Bulls in the fall before heading overseas.
  • Veteran NBA guard Jordan Crawford saw his one-month contract with Israeli club Ironi Nahariya expire and is once again a free agent, as Nicola Lupo of Sportando relays.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) has released an updated 2019 mock draft at, with Murray State’s Ja Morant moving up to No. 3 to break up a run of Duke prospects at the top of the draft.
  • In an entertaining piece for, Jake Fischer spoke to a number of role players who have been traded along with stars to find out what it’s like to be an afterthought at an introductory press conference.

Jordan Crawford To Play In Israel

Veteran NBA guard Jordan Crawford has lined up yet another deal with an international team, with Alessandro Maggi of Sportando relaying that Israeli club Ironi Nahariya has announced the signing of Crawford.

It’s the third contract agreement that Crawford has reached with an international team since mid-November. After failing to secure an NBA job in the offseason, the 30-year-old seemingly secured a deal with German team Alba Berlin in November. However, he reportedly didn’t pass his physical with the club, which voided his agreement.

Last week, an apparent deal with China’s Shanxi Brave Dragons ultimately wasn’t finalized, with the team opting to stick with its current import players after a tryout period. It appears for now that the third time is a charm for Crawford, who is set to begin playing for Ironi Nahariya in Israel.

A first-round draft pick in 2010, Crawford has appeared in 281 career regular season NBA games, averaging 12.2 PPG on .411/.317/.826 shooting. Most recently, he finished the 2017/18 campaign with the Pelicans, playing in five regular season games and a couple more playoff contests for the club.

No Deal For Shanxi, Jordan Crawford

JANUARY 3: After a brief tryout period, Shanxi has opted to keep its current import players rather than signing Crawford, a source tells Sportando. As a result, Crawford remains a free agent and is still in China for the time being, ready to sign with another team if he receives an offer, according to Carchia.

DECEMBER 31: Veteran NBA guard Jordan Crawford appears set to resume his playing career overseas. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, Crawford has reached a deal with China’s Shanxi Brave Dragons.

Crawford, a first-round draft pick in 2010, has appeared in 281 career regular season games, averaging 12.2 PPG on .411/.317/.826 shooting. Most recently, he finished the 2017/18 season with the Pelicans, playing in five regular season games and a couple more playoff contests for the club.

After failing to secure an NBA job in the offseason, Crawford seemingly lined up a deal with German team Alba Berlin in November. However, he reportedly didn’t pass his physical with the club, which voided his agreement. Now, he’s set to head back to China, where he previously played for Xinjiang in 2014 and Tianjin in 2015-16.

Because the Chinese Basketball Association’s season ends before the NBA’s, there’s a chance that Crawford will once again catch on with an NBA club down the stretch in 2018/19 if he performs well in China for Shanxi.

Sessions, Jennings, Crawford Become Free Agents

Former NBA guards Ramon Sessions, Brandon Jennings, and Jordan Crawford are all back on the free agent market, according to a series of reports from Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Sessions had been playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, while Jennings had been a member of Zenit St. Petersburg in Russia, but both veterans parted ways with their respective teams this week, according to Charania.

Maccabi Tel Aviv issued a statement (via Twitter) announcing that Sessions asked to be released from his contract to return home to America for personal reasons, and the club consented. Zenit St. Petersburg confirmed the end of its relationship with Jennings in a statement of its own, indicating that the two sides reached an agreement to terminate the point guard’s contract early. Jennings had griped on social media last week about playing for a team that featured a father (Vasily Karasev) coaching his son (Sergey Karasev).

As for Crawford, we heard earlier this week that the former Pelican had signed a one-month contract with German team Alba Berlin, but the club announced this morning (via Twitter) that Crawford didn’t pass his physical, voiding the agreement (hat tip to Sportando).

Sessions, Jennings, and Crawford all have plenty of NBA experience under their belts and could receive interest from clubs down the stretch, especially if some teams are hit hard by backcourt injuries. For now, all three will be free agents.

Jordan Crawford To Play In Germany

NOVEMBER 19: Crawford has signed with Alba Berlin, but the deal only covers one month, team president Marco Baldi has confirmed (link via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).

NOVEMBER 18: Free agent guard Jordan Crawford will sign a deal with Alba Berlin in Germany for the season, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic.

Crawford appeared in five games with the Pelicans last season, averaging 6.6 points, 2.6 assists and 10.6 minutes per contest. He’s made stops with Atlanta, Washington, Boston, Golden State and New Orleans during his six-year NBA career.

Crawford, a 6’4″ combo guard, was drafted by the Nets with the No. 27 pick in 2010. His rights were then traded to the Hawks, where he signed his first professional contract.

Crawford holds career-averages of 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

Team USA Announces Camp Roster For September World Cup Qualifiers

Fourteen players will participate in a Las Vegas training camp beginning this Thursday, USA Basketball announced today in a press release. Of those 14 players, 12 will be named to Team USA’s roster for the club’s upcoming qualifying games for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

This set of games – the first window for the second round of qualifiers – will take place later this month. Team USA will face Uruguay on September 14, then play against Panama on September 17.

The following players will be vying for Team USA roster spots for these qualifying contests:

In the first round of qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup, Team USA was made up predominantly of G League players. That’s the case to some extent again this time, with guys like Hearn and Warney returning. However, many of the players this time around are currently under contract with NBA teams, including Bacon (Hornets), Ellenson (Pistons), Hicks (Knicks), Mason (Kings), Trice (Bucks), and White (Spurs).

“With our September second-round games marking the start of the most critical part of the World Cup Qualifying, I think it is imperative for us to look for players who possess mental fortitude, who are tough, and who have experience,” said Team USA head coach Jeff Van Gundy. “All of our second-round games are going to very, very difficult and competitive battles. Argentina, Panama and Uruguay are all really good and well coached.”

The second round of the World Cup qualifiers will take place over three windows of competition in September, November, and February. Team USA will play two games apiece vs. Argentina, Panama, and Uruguay during that stretch.

Having posted a 5-1 record during the first round of qualifiers, Team USA is tied for first with Argentina in Group E, which is made up of six teams. If Team USA remains in the top three of the Group E standings by the end of February’s games, the squad will qualify for the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in China next September.

Pelicans Sign Jordan Crawford

3:07pm: The Pelicans have officially signed Crawford, the team announced this afternoon in a press release.

2:32pm: The Pelicans are expected to sign Jordan Crawford to a contract, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). New Orleans has an open spot on its 15-man roster, so no corresponding roster move will be necessary to finalize Crawford’s new deal.

Crawford, 29, opened the season with the Pelicans, but was on a non-guaranteed contract and was waived after just two games when the club signed Jameer Nelson. The former first-round pick has been effective during his limited time in New Orleans over the last two years, averaging 13.6 PPG and 3.1 APG with a .483/.410/.769 shooting line in 21 games since the start of the 2016/17 season.

The Pelicans had been on the lookout for backcourt help, with Ian Clark expected to miss the next five-to-10 days with an ankle injury, as head coach Alvin Gentry announced earlier today (Twitter link via Scott Kushner of The Advocate).

Larry Drew II had been the 15th man on New Orleans’ roster, but his 10-day deal with the team expired overnight. Rajon Rondo had said earlier this afternoon that he expected a new point guard to be brought in to fill that newly-opened roster spot (Twitter link via Kushner).