Jamal Crawford received an offer from the Clippers on Saturday that will likely spell the end of his time in Los Angeles. While the fine points of the offer made to Crawford are unknown, it appears clear that it came short of the three-year, $35 million deal given to the son of Clippers coach, Doc Rivers.
For the Cleveland Cavaliers, this seasons crazy summer of money will be a very tame one. The intent this offseason for David Griffin and his management team will be to keep as much of Cleveland’s championship winning team together as possible. But with the possibility of backup restricted free agent point guard Matthew Dellavedova cashing in and heading to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Cavs may be forced to find a new backup ball handler.
After the news of Delly signing his Milwaukee offer sheet, we saw LeBron James tweet a message of congratulations to the backup point guard. Does James not know Dellavedova is a restricted free agent, or does he know something we don’t know?
Congrats to my brother! @matthewdelly on his deal! Good luck in Milwaukee! Very deserving to you and your family. 1
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 1, 2016
Delly fell out of favor in the playoffs under Ty Lue and failed to see any court time after Game 2 of the NBA Finals, with Coach Lue looking to Mo Williams early in games. Add in the fact that the Cavs spent $2.4M on the on the 54th overall pick to select point guard Kay Felder out of Oakland, we may be seeing the Cavs plan for life after Matthew Dellavedova.
One name was heavily linked with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the beginning of the season, and it was that of Jamal Crawford. Crawford’s 4 year, $21M dollar contract with the Los Angeles Clippers has come to an end, making him an unrestricted free agent, and there are sure to be more Crawford-Cavs rumors.
Back in August of 2015, the Cavaliers expressed interest in Crawford and according to sources the interest was mutual. Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com reported:
“I know Jamal personally, and I know he would definitely like to be a part of the Cavaliers’ organization. Jamal is one guy off the top of my head that I know would be a fit, and I know that they’ll be looking at him.”
Jamal Crawford may not be a natural point guard, but his handle is one of the very few that rivals our own Kyrie Irving. Cleveland rarely rely on Dellavedova or Mo Williams to handle the ball solely when Kyrie Irving heads to the bench, rather than having the team do so by committee. Iman Shumpert, J.R Smith and LeBron James all handle the ball at times this season, so if the Cavs were to sign Jamal Crawford with the intent of him being a back up point guard, he would not be alone.
With only Mo Williams and Jordan McRae to back up Irving if Dellavedova was to take his talents to Milwaukee, that really wouldn’t be enough for a team that’s looking to defend their crown as the reigning NBA champs.
Jamal Crawford would not only be someone that could handle the ball, but he can be a cold blooded scorer on his night. J-Crossover is coming off a stellar season in which he won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, becoming the first player to earn the honor three times. The 36-year-old Crawford also breaks his own record, set two years ago, as the oldest winner.
During his amazing 16 year NBA career, Crawford has averaged 15.5 points and 3.6 assist on a nightly basis, while shooting 36% from beyond the arc. He has been a huge part of the Clippers rotation for the past few seasons, seeing 29 minutes of court time in a backup role.
Crawford was actually selected by the Cavs with the 8th overall selection in 2000, and traded later that night to the Chicago Bulls (for Chris Mihm). Jamal started his NBA career as a Cleveland Cavalier, it seems fitting that he ends his career in the same place competing for basketballs grandest prize.