Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Jamal Crawford had a remarkable season earning the 2016 6th man of the year award for the third time in his career and second with the team. Crawford averaged 14.2 points, 2.3 assist, and was ranked second from the free throw line shooting 90.4%, only behind Stephen Curry’s 90.8%.
After four years though, Crawford’s $21 million contract with the Clippers has ended and is now an unrestricted free agent. Though free agency does not start until July 1st, this Friday, Crawford is set to meet with five different teams. Per Brad Turner, from the Los Angeles Times, among the teams are the Clippers, Orlando Magic, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, and Miami Heat.
Although Crawford’s preference is to remain with the Clippers, Dan Woike, from the OC Register, shares Crawford’s view of his situation. In a phone interview with Woike, Crawford states, “I definitely have to keep an open mind and see what’s out there… That’s why you’re in this position. My preference, like I’ve said from the get go, is to go back to the Clippers. But, I’m definitely very, very open-minded about the whole free-agency process.”
Crawford’s free agency timing is perfect with the cap salary being increased this year. This might be the last contract the 36 year old signs and it is almost a guarantee he will be looking for a well deserved increase in his salary. With just having traded Victor Oladipo to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando has some extra money to be a contender for Crawford and Sam Amick from NBA insider reports that “After the Oladipo exit, Orlando is very interested in Jamal Crawford.” Crawford could be beneficial as a leading veteran during those key final minutes and as a mentor for Mario Hezonja, who is expected to have a bigger role next season.
But as Chris Paul said after he was originally supposed to be on the Lakers before the NBA vetoed the trade, “Nothing is over until it is over.” We will soon learn whether Crawford stays in the Sunny State or packs his bags.
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