Jamal Crawford declined a $4.5 million player option with the Timberwolves for next season, thinking that as a free agent he could get into a situation that was a better fit, and where he could get more minutes than the 20 he got each game last season.
As we get into the middle of August, Crawford is still looking for a new home.
There were rumors about him signing a minimum deal with the Warriors and stepping into the Nick Young role, but that never materialized. Other rumors have been floated, but nothing seemed real. Crawford is making his pitch, and on Brandon Robinson’s Scoop B Radio he praised the Sixers and his potential fit there. (Hat tip Ashish Mathur of Amico Hoops.)
“I would be honored to play there, but things obviously have to take its course and I kind of got to sit back, but who wouldn’t want to play there?
“I like their city. I like how into it they are about basketball. I like their knowledge of basketball, how passionate they are. I’ve always loved coach Brett Brown. I’ve been on record. I’ve been a fan of his for years. He just needed talent, and now he has that. He added Ben Simmons, I love his game. I love Jojo [Joel Embiid]. They’re both among my favorite players in the league to watch. Markelle [Fultz] is like a little brother to me. Obviously, he went to the University of Washington, and we talk every other day. J.J. Redick is like a brother to me, we’ve been through wars together, so there’s so many things to love about Philadelphia for sure.”
Is Crawford really a fit in Philly? Obviously, Ben Simmons and J.J. Redick will be the starting backcourt, and the goal is to have Markelle Fultz own the sixth man role as a ball-handling guard. Also in the backcourt are T.J. McConnell and Jerryd Bayless. However, with the foot fracture and surgery rookie Zhaire Smith just had, maybe there is a spot. Maybe. But it’s hard to envision Crawford getting more minutes in Philly than he got last season in Minny, nor the kinds of touches he would desire.
The problem is that while Crawford can still get buckets, he’s a volume scorer who, at age 38, is seeing his efficiency slide. Crawford averaged 10.3 points a game last season but shot 41.5 percent overall and 33.1 percent from three, with a PER of 13 and a true shooting percentage of 51.3. Those are not bad numbers, it’s just a question of finding a team that will be the right stylistic fit with Crawford.