But separate from the elite are the guys who are going to help fill out rosters, especially for championship-contending teams. The salary cap crunch many teams find themselves in thanks to outrageous spending during the summer of 2016 has tempered our expectations for what might happen come the end of the moratorium on July 6th.
The mid-level exception and taxpayer mid-level exception will be important weapons as teams try to round out their rotations heading into 2018-19. Then again, some players might just take a huge discount. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, one player who might be willing to take a pay cut is Jamal Crawford.
The former Minnesota Timberwolves bench scorer recently opted out of his $4.5 million contract and is free to sign where he likes this summer. Crawford, 38, is a veteran hunting for his first ring, and apparently could head to the champion Golden State Warriors on a league minimum deal.
There is some mutual interest between the Warriors and Jamal Crawford in a potential minimum deal, sources say. He might want more than the minimum. It’s unclear if the Warriors will use their mini-midlevel exception, but if they do, it likely will not be on Crawford.
Crawford is a good fit for Golden State’s system, and perhaps would bring a more dynamic and intelligent offensive punch then former wing backups like Nick Young. The Seattle native played in 80 games last year for Tom Thibodeau, and his advanced numbers are still relatively in line with his career averages.
If you are thinking that the beginning of free agency will be boring, it’s probably best to look at minutiae — like a potential Crawford deal — to get yourself into understanding just how this summer will shape this season and the one after.