The NBA offseason is a time where teams get better, players search for a change of scenery and tons of rumors flood social media outlets. One of the newest rumors has revealed that the Boston Celtics and Jamal Crawford have a mutual interest in each other. Crawford, an 18-year veteran is a three-time sixth man of the year (the only player to have won three or more). He will be looking to play for his eighth team in his soon to be 19th NBA season.
The Celtics are in a unique spot. They have just filled their last roster spot on Jabari Bird. Bird is soon to be released due to legal issues that will soon void his contract. This will then free up the last open spot on their roster that could be used on a veteran like Jamal Crawford.
Breaking it down:
Crawford is a career 15.0 point scorer, grabs 2.3 rebounds and dishes out 3.4 assists per game over the course of his career. Last season, with the Minnesota Timberwolves his production dipped, but his usage didn’t seem to for a 38-year-old veteran. In his one season with the Timberwolves, he averaged 10.3 points, 1.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists. His drop in production can be attributed to the lack of floor spacing on a crammed Timberwolves lineup.
Crawford’s bread and butter are both isolations as well as pick and rolls. He likes to shoot mid-range jumpers and gets the majority of his shots from the perimeter. Nearly 1/5 of his shots with the Timberwolves were pull up threes (247 of his 742 field goals were pull up jumpers). He shot 104-311 (33.4 percent) from three with the Timberwolves. Nearly two percentage points less from three than he averages over the course of his career (34.9 percent).
Why the Celtics should sign him if they get the chance:
He is in search of a spot on a title contender. Like most veterans, Crawford is in search of a chance to play for a championship. The Boston Celtics are the favorite in the East to make it to the NBA Finals and take on the Golden State Warriors. Crawford has been offered a contract by the Warriors and seemingly has passed on it for now to pursue other options. Crawford has played in just 74 playoff games over his 18 seasons. He has never made it to even a conference final, so while his NBA career starts coming to a close, he attempts to do something he has yet to do in his career.
At this point, the Boston Celtics have their top 10 guys on their roster set. What Crawford could bring to a team is instant offense. He could fit in with a rotation that has playmakers like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving. He wouldn’t have to play as big of a role which means that he would have to do much less scoring and could provide instant offense.
If this truly is the end to Crawford’s long career he is looking to take fewer minutes and take a chance on winning a title. He would be taking a far lesser role with the Boston Celtics and hope to achieve something he has never gotten in his career. He could space the floor and provide a strong perimeter shooter to a Celtics team that needs consistent shooters.
A Great Teammate:
The Boston Celtics are one of the youngest teams in the NBA. They are also in the middle of the pack in bench scoring. Last season the Celtics finished 18th in all the NBA in bench scoring. Obviously, now that Gordon Hayward is healthy they will stick one of their starters from last season on the bench and that number will go up. Jamal Crawford could also make that number go up. Crawford averages 15 career points per game in just over 29 minutes per game. Which also means that he scores a basket just under ever four minutes he is on the floor in his career.
What he also provides is a great teammate. The NBA is less about team chemistry, but you would rather have a positive chemistry than a negative one. Crawford wouldn’t bring anything negative to this team at all. He would be bringing his “Teammate of the year” award with him in Minnesota and would look to mesh with a very young roster.
If this Celtics roster spot does open up it should be Crawford’s. He would fit well with this team and it would give him a chance to go the furthest he has ever been in the playoffs. Crawford would be a great addition and could provide instant scoring to a bench that was lacking it all of the 2017 season.
Featured image from Complex.com.
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