NBA veteran Jamal Crawford is on the Phoenix Suns’ free agent radar. A great teammate, he would help Phoenix’s young guards in addition to his scoring ability.
A few weeks ago, no one thought LeBron James‘ friend and former sidekick, James Jones, would be calling the shots for the Phoenix Suns. Yet as the season approaches, he’s nestled himself into the General Manager role and looks to have some tricks up his sleeve. His first act, besides the positive things he’s done behind the scenes over the last 15 months, is targeting NBA veteran (and fan favorite) Jamal Crawford.
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Crawford, one of the league’s most interesting specimens, is getting up there in age but has a lot to offer. When it was revealed that he was offered a league-minimum contract by Jones and company, it seemed like a logical move for the team, and for Crawford himself.
League minimum for players with 10-plus seasons, according to HoopsHype, is right around $2.4 million for the 2018-19 season.
For that price, the signing would be a low-risk, high-ceiling option. Crawford is fresh off a solid season with a playoff team (Minnesota) that saw him average double-digits off the bench. Always a spark plug, the Michigan alumni has averaged double figures every single year dating back to the 2002-03 season.
And with that, a reliable scorer/shooter is only part of what makes him valuable. Yes, the Suns need players who can create their own shot (and really need shooters) but he’s also a great locker room guy (Crawford won the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award last year) that’s respected by everyone — a bucket-getting version of Tyson Chandler, so to speak. The impact he could have on a guy like Devin Booker can’t be quantified. Chandler, while respected, can show you how to be a better pro but Crawford, the role model, can show guards so much more. He’s done it all in the NBA, scored on everyone and then some; almost certainly, he has tricks-of-the-trade to pass along to whoever will listen.
Booker has played alongside respected vets like Chandler, Jared Dudley, and Leandro Barbosa. They’re all great guys, but none of them get buckets like Crawford or could actually give Booker a run for his money in an open gym or in a game of one-on-one. It might sound crazy but that kind of thing goes a long way in the influence department. Booker, as well as other young Suns’ players, would benefit greatly from picking his brain for a season.
According to Arizona Sports, Crawford and the Suns met on Friday.