A few dominoes need to fall before we get to the real news here. First, the three-team trade between the Clippers, Nuggets, and Hawks finally had to become official, which happened Thursday.
As part of that, Jamal Crawford became a Hawks, and he wants to work out a buyout with Atlanta — that part is a little more complex. Crawford has two-years and $29 million left on his contract, although only $3 million of the second season ($14.5 million) is guaranteed. Ideally, the Hawks would like some return back in a trade for Crawford, but as they didn’t even mention him in the official statements from the GM after the trade, a buyout seems likely. The only question is the price point.
If/when Crawford hits the open market, plenty of teams are lined up to add the former Sixth Man of the Year.
Cleveland seems to be at the front of the line after Crawford spoke to LeBron James, reports Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Veteran guard Jamal Crawford is “very interested” in joining the Cavaliers if he becomes a free agent after a recent conversation with LeBron James, sources told cleveland.com….
The most Cleveland could pay Crawford is the taxpayer’s mid-level exception to the salary cap (worth $5.2 million), but after conversing with James, Crawford is highly interested in joining the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs.
James reportedly wasn’t doing any recruiting this year for the Cavaliers, but Crawford reached out to him.
Crawford adds shooting and shot creation to the Cavaliers’ bench, he averaged 12.3 points per game last season and shot 36 percent from three. He would make one of the most potent offenses in the NBA that much more dangerous. However, he doesn’t address Cleveland’s needs to get more athletic and younger on the wing (Crawford is 37), nor does he help Cleveland’s defense.
Still, at $5.2 million and with no other better options, this would be a good move by the Cavaliers.