If the Jamal Crawford extension saga were a pot of water over the stove, the first tiny bubbles have started rising to the surface. It’s not a full-on boil, but you might want to get the macaroni ready.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke with Crawford, and he’s starting to mentally prepare himself to play elsewhere this season. Despite, you know, being on contract with Atlanta who has little to no imperative to trade him.From the AJC:
“I would love to be here long term, no doubts about it. I would love to lock that up before I become a free agent. I want to make it work here. But if that is not the plan I guess I will go elsewhere.”
Crawford talks about loyalty in the interview, which is all well and good, but, um… has he been paying attention to any degree to the last six months? Players aren’t loyal to franchises, franchises aren’t loyal to players, owners aren’t loyal to each other, the whole thing’s a mess.
The Hawks have to be in a wait-and-see mode with the entire team. They were so good in the regular season last year and so bad in the playoffs against Orlando that there must be some level of consideration as to how this whole thing is going to shake out, especially with a new head coach and the team trying to integrate Jeff Teague into a bigger role. Oh, yeah, and Al Horford’s due an extension. Of course, maybe they should have taken this approach into account before they gave Joe Johnson the GNP of a small country.
Crawford’s next step is trade request, followed by holdout. That’s the nuclear option, and one Crawford has given no indication he’s willing to execute. But if nothing gets done, it could become a chemistry issue as the team tries to make progress in a much-improved East this season.