Cavaliers sign undrafted Chris Crawford to two-year contract

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He’s not Ray Allen, but the Cavaliers might have found another guard.

Chris Crawford didn’t generate much draft buzz after four years at Memphis. He scored 20 points in his summer-league debut with the Rockets and then fell off.

But somewhere along the way, he impressed Cleveland.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

A 6-foot-4 guard, Crawford made 37 percent of his 3-pointers in college. He also shot just 9-for-35 (26 percent) in summer league, though that’s a small sample.

I have to think that’s the skill that intrigues the Cavaliers. In most areas, Crawford is unspectacular, though decent.

Will he make the roster, though?

As I see it, Cleveland already has 13 players mostly locked in:

  • LeBron James
  • Kevin Love
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Anderson Varejao
  • Dion Waiters
  • Tristan Thompson
  • Mike Miller
  • Shawn Marion
  • James Jones
  • Matthew Dellavedova
  • Brendan Haywood
  • Joe Harris
  • Dwight Powell

John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas, Erik Murphy and Alex Kirk also loom with small or no salary guarantees. Lucas, Thomas and Murphy – acquired from the Jazz for use in a later trade – still hold value for their ability to facilitate deals. I’m not sure whether the Cavaliers will keep any of those three into the season to lengthen the window for making such a follow-up trade, but that could squeeze out Crawford.

NBA teams can assign a few players waived before the regular season to their D-League team as long as another D-League team doesn’t hold their rights. This allows an NBA team to more closely control a player’s development, but other NBA teams are free to sign that player.

Crawford might be a candidate for that route, but if he were definitely headed to the Canton Charge, there would be no point of giving him a two-year contract. Though I suspect that second year is fully unguaranteed, it indicates Cleveland’s openness to keeping him on the NBA roster.

Kirk is in the same boat, and likely both wind up waived and in the D-League. But there’s still a chance either plays his way onto the NBA roster.

Of course, if Ray Allen decides to suit up for the Cavaliers, they’ll find room for him much more easily.