Should Teams be Willing to Make a Push for Jamal Crawford this Summer?
Jamal Crawford of the Minnesota Timberwolves
Where will Jamal Crawford play basketball next year? (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Jamal Crawford spent last season playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves. After a disappointing exit in the playoffs, he will reportedly opt out of his contract for next season. Should teams be willing to make a push to sign him?

Since coming into the league in 2000, Crawford has had a rollercoaster of a career. We have seen him play very well at times, but we have also seen him play poorly. For his career, he is averaging 15.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. He has been named NBA Sixth Man of the Year three times and has proven he can be a threat for any team coming off the bench.

As far as his recent play, it could be better. He has shot barely over 40 percent across the past four seasons. To be fair, at 38 years old he isn’t expected to do much. but has he done enough to earn a contract with another team? Let’s take a look at his stats from last season and find out if teams should try to sign the veteran.

Jamal Crawford’s Scoring:

Crawford is known for having one of the deadliest crossovers in the league. Because of this, he has been able to create his own shot with ease and it has shown in the stat book.

Last season we saw Crawford average 11.8 points per game for the Timberwolves. This was good enough to be the sixth highest scorer for the team and as their sixth man, this makes perfect sense.

He was deadly from 10-16 feet, shooting 50 percent. He was able to carry this success beyond 16 feet by shooting 46 .7 percent from 16 feet or farther this season. The only distance he struggled from was 3-10 feet. Crawford posted an unimpressive percentage of 32.1. The midrange has always been his bread and butter though, so none of these percentages are surprises.

When he first entered the league, the game was a lot different. Although the three ball has always been important, it was never as dominant as it is in today’s league. With teams like the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors, it is important for your team to be able to nail their deep looks.

Jamal Crawford was one of the Timberwolves go-to players last season when it came to knocking down a three. With his game being influenced heavily by relying on the three, he has been able to flourish by creating his own shot and knocking down the three ball.

From beyond the arc, Crawford was meh last year, pouring in a below average 33.1 percent. Shooting 41.2 percent from deep in the postseason, however, was very impressive and far beyond the normal scope of J Crossover’s skills. This is the improvement from the regular season to the games that matter that you like to see if you are scouting Crawford for next season. Because this shows that even at his age, he is still able to do well when it matters.

As far as his free throw percentage, Crawford dominated. A career 86.2 percent free throw shooter, he was able to hit 90.3 percent of his free throws this past season. This shows how versatile he is when he has the ball in his hands and shows that you can’t foul him around the basket.

Jamal Crawford’s Defense:

We all know how good Jamal Crawford is on the offensive end, but we saw him do okay on defense as well. Although it wasn’t a high number, he was able to lead the Timberwolves in steals per game in the postseason with one. When the stakes were the highest, JC found a way to take the ball away from his opponents.

He was also able to show that he can help the second unit in more ways than just offensively. Playing the guard position, he is responsible for guarding some of the leagues best talent. And at 38 years old, he can still hang with the young guns.

Because of this, Crawford can be relied on to defend at a decent level. This is something that teams around the league are looking for as more and more teams have multiple dominant players. If they can guarantee someone off the bench to provide adequate defense, then they should sign him no question.

Conclusion:

After a small breakdown of some basic stats from Crawford’s season last year, there is no question that he can still compete at a high level. The only thing that is holding him back currently is his age, but that still doesn’t seem to be an issue for him.

We saw that he can still score, hustle and play defense well. There is a low chance that he is unable to carry that into next season.

With that being said, teams should be looking to sign Crawford. And it appears that some players are already making it known they are interested. San Antonio Spurs All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge had this to say on Twitter:

His contract shouldn’t be a problem for any team to take on with how high the salary cap is reaching. Jamal Crawford has been named sixth-man of the year three times for a reason, so teams would be silly not to make a push for him this offseason. He can still contribute off the bench.

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