According to recent reports, the Cleveland Cavaliers are weighing the option of trading the non-guaranteed $10.5 million contract of Brendan Haywood. They have their sights set on the less expensive, yet more productive $5.7 million contract of Jamal Crawford.
The Cavaliers are looking to replace the erratic shooting of J.R. Smith with the more affordable, veteran presence of Crawford. The Clippers certainly need all the help they can get after losing DeAndre Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks, says NBC Sports. The team is apparently willing to part with Jamal Crawford in order to waive the contract of Haywood. This would allow the Clippers to have some more wiggle room to offer a more lucrative deal to a free agent center in order to replace Jordan.
While Crawford regressed this past 2014-15 season, he remains a very versatile player who is able to not only hit the three pointer, but also play at the point. If the Cavaliers were to make this trade and add Crawford to their bench, it would certainly be an upgrade at either the backup point or shooting guard position.
Crawford, a two-time Sixth Man of the Year Award winner, is just one season removed from the award and certainly looks poised to bounce back after a down season. While his shooting percentages dipped a bit from a line of.42/.36/.87 to.40/.33/.90, his advanced statistics such as PER, remained well above the league average at 16.71.
SB Nation reports that while Crawford would certainly be an upgrade for the Cavaliers at either guard positions, one of the largest advantages for the Cavaliers in trading for Crawford would be the luxury tax savings. If the Cavaliers trade for Crawford, they could save close to $10 million in luxury tax savings as their tax bill climbs to north of $100 million with all of the team's recent signings.
The Cavaliers would bank on Crawford returning to his old form, as the team is hoping for a repeat of last season's success in reaching the NBA Finals. Crawford has a lot of postseason experience with the Clippers as well as two playoff births on the Atlanta Hawks.
If the Clippers don't trade Crawford to the Cavaliers, still look for Crawford to be dealt elsewhere, as the addition of Lance Stephenson has made him expendable. Any team looking for veteran leadership, as well as instant offense and a sweet stroke from the three point line will definitely be in the market for Crawford as long as he is available.
[Image via The Big Lead]