The Cleveland Cavaliers are still looking to bolster their bench this offseason, and they are expected to target 37-year-old guard Jamal Crawford if his contract is bought out by the Atlanta Hawks.
Crawford was included in a three-team trade involving the Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks and Denver Nuggets. The Clippers received Danilo Gallinari, the Hawks received Crawford, Diamond Stone and the Houston Rockets’ top-three protected first round pick from the Clippers, and the Nuggets received the Washington Wizards’ 2019 second round pick from the Hawks.
The Nuggets made the trade so they would have room to sign Paul Millsap to a three-year, $90 million deal.
The Hawks are in the process of rebuilding, so they are likely going to buy out Crawford’s contract. Crawford had interest in the Los Angeles Lakers initially according to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, but other teams are now expected to be in the mix, including the Cavs, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Wizards.
Crawford is set to make just over $14 million next season, so it will be an expensive buy out for the Hawks. But if they are rebuilding, it wouldn’t make sense for them to keep Crawford. He played for the Hawks for two seasons in 2010 and 2011, and he won the Sixth Man of the Year award with the team in 2010.
Crawford won the Sixth Man of the Year award twice with the Clippers in 2014 and 2016. He averaged 12.3 points per game last season, and he’s averaged 15.3 points per game throughout his career.
The Cavs, Wolves and Wizards all need bench scoring, and they are all in need of additional shooting and scoring. Crawford is a liability on defense, but he is a volume scorer off the bench.