Jamal Crawford has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the summer, and it appears that a few teams are interested in acquiring the veteran guard. Frank Isola of The New York Daily News reports that the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat have all looked into the possibility of adding Crawford.
Crawford, who has played for six teams including the Knicks from 2004-2008, has been the Los Angeles Clippers’ top bench player for the last three seasons. He was the named the 2013-2014 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, garnering the second-most votes the previous year and finishing in third place this past season. But L.A. might be open to dealing the 35-year-old, since they added Lance Stephenson to their roster.
Acquiring Crawford would be a significant upgrade for the Knicks, who lack proven scoring options. The team signed Arron Afflalo in free agency, but he is the only player on the roster that averaged double-digits in points and played in more than 45 games during the 2014-2015 season. With the Knicks' current backcourt consisting of Jose Calderon, Sasha Vujacic, Langston Galloway and rookie Jerian Grant, Crawford would be considered New York's best scoring guard.
FYI: Jamal Crawford is a favorite of James Dolan as well as Steve Mills, Allan Houston but most of all - drum roll please - Isiah Thomas.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) August 18, 2015
However, the Knicks may not have enough trade pieces to entice the Clippers. Calderon is the only player the Knicks could offer due to salary cap restrictions, and Los Angeles isn’t likely to agree to such a deal. The point guard is coming off his worst season since he was a rookie, and has two years left on his contract. Crawford is set to become a free agent next summer. The Knicks may have to include draft picks, but that may not be in their best interests.
New York might be able to work out a deal if a third team gets involved, but Crawford may have a better chance to be moved in a separate two-team trade. The Cavs have been linked to Crawford since the start of free agency, and have yet to re-sign shooting guard J.R. Smith. The 29-year-old was Cleveland's top bench scorer in 2014-2015, but Crawford would be viewed as an upgrade at the position.
The Cavs could use the trade exceptions that were created when they sent Brendan Haywood and Mike Miller to the Portland Trail Blazers. Crawford is set to make nearly $5.7 million next season, while the Clippers are expected to be over the luxury tax threshold for the third straight season, which means they would face the dreaded repeater tax.
The Heat are also more likely than New York to acquire Crawford, though the Clippers may be hesitant to accept what the Miami has to offer. Josh McRoberts, Chris Anderson, Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers are potential trade chips to be included in a deal.
Crawford averaged 15.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game last season. Over his career, Crawford has shot 41 percent from the field, and averaged 15.6 points per game.