According to Chris Haynes of Cleveland, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers may be discussing a deal that would give Cleveland one of the best bench players in the NBA.
The Cleveland Cavaliers may be pursuing a trade involving shooting guard Jamal Crawford. Last season for the Clippers, Crawford averaged 15.8 points in 26.6 minutes per game. He would be a welcome addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers who have a mediocre bench and need to improve it if they hope to win the NBA title.
In his report, Haynes said, “I know Jamal personally, and I know he would definitely like to be a part of the Cavaliers’ organization.” Haynes added, “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. They want to use that exception for a wing player.”
While it does seem that Crawford wants to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, this does not mean he doesn’t want to play with the Clippers. LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving offer an opportunity to play with some of the league’s best players and a chance at a championship, but Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan offer a similar package.
However, Los Angeles may not want to keep Crawford. The team already has decent guards coming off the bench (Austin Rivers, Pablo Prigioni, Lance Stephenson). Also, the Clippers wouldn’t mind flipping Crawford for some salary relief. Shedding Crawford would save the organization $16,180,533 in salary and projected luxury tax payments.
The Cleveland Cavaliers could absorb Crawford into their Brendan Haywood trade exception. While this would exceed the tax bill the Clippers would face, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has clearly green-lit massive spending.
How much the Cleveland Cavaliers can use Jamal depends on whether J.R. Smith re-signs.
If Smith doesn’t return, then Crawford is a decent alternative as a spot-up shooter, who is probably more consistent. If Smith does return, then Crawford is more of a luxury as a shooter.
The Cleveland Cavaliers definitely do not need Crawford, but if they could acquire him for a minimal amount, he would be a welcome addition. Crawford would, no doubt, strengthen the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Do you think the Cleveland Cavaliers will make a transaction in order to acquire Jamal Crawford? If not, what other moves do you see the Cleveland Cavaliers making before the NBA season begins in October?
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