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Jamal Crawford offers solution to address COVID-19 absentees

Jamal Crawford, COVID-19

Jamal Crawford has an idea for how the NBA can manage its ongoing COVID-19 crises and mitigate postponed games.

The two-fold Jamal Crawford solution: expand the rosters, and establish a pool of unsigned players who could join teams on short notice in the wake of multiple COVID-related absences. More specifically, the veteran swingman suggested that G-League players (presumably not those two-way deals), free agent veterans — such as himself — and others could form the pool.

Jamal Crawford tweeted his idea in response to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski’s report that Tuesday’s matchup between the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls has been postponed, as Boston remains short of eligible players.

Jamal Crawford’s strategy prioritizes plowing through the schedule over competitive balance, as the NFL did with its 2020 season. His idea might help limit game postponements, but it would lead to numerous instances in which a team takes the floor with a non-competitive, patchwork roster.

Monday’s matchup between the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks was postponed after four Mavericks players tested positive for COVID-19. Boston’s Sunday showdown with the Miami Heat was called off, too. Jamal Crawford is aware of this.

By contrast, the Philadelphia 76ers were forced to face the Denver Nuggets with seven healthy bodies on Saturday. Overall, four games have been postponed so far this season.

Jamal Crawford, 40, played exactly one game for the Brooklyn Nets in the bubble before getting injured. Prior to that, he appeared in 64 games with the Phoenix Suns in 2018-19, averaging 7.9 points in 18.9 minutes per game.

The three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner has played for nine teams over his 20-season career. Jamal Crawford has picked up a lot of insights in the long and winding road of a professional journey, so it only makes sense he would try to apply his knowledge to COVID-19 in this rarest of NBA seasons.