Way back in the summer of 2000, I was adamant that the Chicago Bulls draft Jamal Crawford. This is mostly because I am a huge University of Michigan fan, but also because he seemed like a great piece for the Bulls, who were convinced they were going to get Tim Duncan in free agency. A young shooting guard who can stretch the defense would be a perfect fit next to the best power forward ever. This is how the Bulls were going to return to glory after Michael Jordan’s retirement.
Free agent acquisition Tim Duncan turned in to free agent acquisition Brad Miller, which changed my life in a totally different way, but that’s not the point. The point is I wanted Jamal Crawford way back then, and it happened through a Chris Mihm trade.
Apparently I was ahead of the curve, because he seems to be the hottest commodity on the non-existent free agent market. First LeBron James wanted him.
It’s a good time to be Jamal Crawford, I guess. He’s the best guard available this offseason, especially considering J.R. Smith is going to be in China for at least a year.
Plus, you know exactly what you’re getting with Jamal Crawford — 15 to 18 points a game on 40ish percent shooting, too many threes for a guy who only shoots 35 percent from long range, bad defense and those couple of games a season when he can’t miss and drops an absurd amount of points and you think, “Oh snap, Jamal Crawford dropped 47. That guy can really score.”
At 31, he’s not changing. For a team like Miami who is looking for a bench guy to carry some of the scoring load when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are out, that’s appealing. Portland I don’t get, since they have 58 good guards on their roster, including two who are extremely well paid. But he’s from Seattle so I guess the regional connection is the draw. Whatevs.
The funny thing about this is that Jamal Crawford is the kind of guy who’d get wildly overpaid under the previous collective bargaining agreement. Talk about bad timing — you just know some team looking to make a splash would give him four years and $30 million, despite the fact he’s a 31-year-old sixth man.
At the very least, 16-year-old Trey Kerby would offer him such a contract and never look back. That’s probably why I was a lifeguard and not an NBA general manager.