The New York Knicks are working hard to get Jamal Crawford. Andy Miller, Crawford’s agent, is working really hard to get Crawford back to the Knicks.
But unless he’s willing to take a big paycut, it’s not going to happen. The Knicks have already offered Crawford their mini mid-level of $2.5 million according to the New York Post. Crawford thought this would be a big payday for him and wants more (and frankly deserves more, his market value is higher than that).
The Knicks and Hawks have been talking sign-and-trade but the problem is the Hawks do not want to pay the luxury tax and they are bumping up against that $70 million number, as the Atlanta Journal Constitution explains.
The only way a straight sign-and-trade with the Knicks is plausible is if the Crawford’s starting salary is low enough that the salary Atlanta takes back doesn’t result in a tax penalty… So all those factors mean a sign-and-trade with the Knicks is out. And, obviously, the Hawks also have no chance of re-signing Crawford or any other free agent making more than the minimum as long as they decline to pay the tax.
Here’s another reason the trade is unlikely, from the Post.
Billy Walker, Landry Fields, center Jerome Jordan and a 2012 second-round pick are the Knicks’ only trading chips.
That’s not impressing anyone.
Crawford is the best two guard out on the market right now, a sixth man of the year, a guy who can create his own shots and provide scoring punch, plus is a willing defender. There are plenty of teams under the cap or with their mid-level exception who can offer Crawford a lot more money.
But if he really wants to be a Knick, he’s going to have to play at well below market value to make it happen.