Jamal Crawford’s prospects for next season

The NBA has seen some players scooped up quickly while others have had to wait their turn. Some even entered the market voluntarily. Suck is life for free agent Jamal Crawford. The veteran guard decided to opt out of the last year of his $4.5 million player option on his contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves next season in order to test the market. Even though the market isn't exactly in a great place for players still searching for deals, Crawford is still a valued commodity. He had yet another season of double-figures off the bench and can help someone out there. The question is what is he looking for on the court, off the court and in his wallet. No one really knows those answers but Crawford, but there are a few teams he could fit on as they are currently constructed.

Crawford has played for a few teams in the NBA over his career, but he has never played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, even when they were the Seattle Supersonics before the move to Oklahoma City (yes, Crawford has been in the NBA that long). So with the Thunder needing any sort of offense off their bench, Crawford would fit their offense immediately. When the Thunder sit down Paul George or Russell Westbrook, Crawford could slide in and give them some offense they need. Their bench was a sore spot last season and could be one this season if they don't add any offense off that bench that can be depended on. Crawford has done this for years off the bench and would relish being a much-needed weapon off someone's bench. The question here is what kind of money he would be wanting from them. They are so far over the salary cap that he may have to take a smaller deal than he is accustomed to, as in a vet minimum deal. Would Crawford be willing to do that is the question.

Another place Crawford could be effective and be in is Portland. The Trailblazers have a dynamic guard duo in CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard and these two can light up a scoreboard. Behind them, however, are a few question marks. Gary Trent Jr. is a rookie the Trailblazers have a lot of high hopes for but has never played in the NBA. Seth Curry has been out since last season. He can shoot, but health seems to be an issue. Nik Stauskas has not lived up to expectations and is on his fourth team in his fourth season. And finally Anfernee Simmons is a young rookie that still is trying to figure it out.  None of these players instill confidence in their bench play behind Lillard and McCollum. Bringing in Crawford would give them that veteran presence and some much-needed offense off their bench. He also could be able to be a mentor for Trent Jr. and Simmons as they get used to the NBA life.

There could be other teams that reach out to Crawford, but both the Trailblazers and the Thunder would offer him a chance to go to the playoffs and have an impact on the team. We shall see what decision he makes, but there is some opportunities out there for him to be a factor somewhere in the NBA next season.

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