The latest Los Angeles Lakers rumors are pointing to NBA star Jamal Crawford wanting to leave the L.A. Clippers but continuing to call the Staples Center home. Reports indicate that the longtime NBA star wants to sign with the Lakers franchise even though he is not currently among the available NBA free agents. The plan would involve being bought out or waived to become one. Here are the latest rumors and details of how Crawford may be able to get his wish from his most recent team, the Los Angeles Clippers, and join the Lakers instead.
According to ESPN, the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year winner Crawford has expressed an interest in playing for the Lakers. Crawford would need a buyout from his current team in order to move to another squad. Sources have told The Undefeated‘s Marc Spears that Crawford wants the L.A. Clippers to waive him so he can become a free agent. Once that happens, he can officially join the Lakers. That would allow Crawford to stay in the same city, but join a team that may be on the rise again. The good news for him is that it appears the Lakers are interested in acquiring his services and have available money to spend on him.
It’s noted that Crawford has also expressed some interest in joining the reigning NBA Champions as well. While the team was once considered frontrunners to acquire Crawford, the Golden State Warriors are down to just over $5 million left that they can offer a free agent this summer. The Los Angeles Lakers could have as much as $17.2 million, but they’ll need to release cap holds on several players including Nick Young, Metta World Peace, and Tyler Ennis.
Crawford’s current contract with the Clippers would see him earning $14.2 million in the 2017-18 NBA season. He also has a $14.5 million contract for the 2018-19 season, with $3 million guaranteed on it. Various reports have suggested he would be bought out by the Hawks, and while Atlanta may not facilitate helping him go to the Lakers, he would consider playing for the Hawks’ team next season.
Also hearing while Jamal Crawford wants a buyout from Hawks (several teams interested), he's open to staying there and playing next season.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 4, 2017
Crawford, the No. 8 pick in the 2000 draft by Cleveland, has now spent 17 years in the league. His career stats include 15.3 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game. Crawford came off the Clippers’ bench in most recent seasons and contributed 12.3 points, 2.6 assists, and 1.6 rebounds per game. He’s a three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award winner, with the most recent coming in 2016. In addition, Crawford led the league in 2011 for free-throw percentage.
During his career, he’s played for the Bulls, Knicks, Warriors, Hawks, and Trail Blazers. The Los Angeles Lakers seem to make sense for the journeyman veteran based on the fact that he and his family have been based in the L.A. area. In addition, Crawford could provide mentorship for the younger players, including this past summer’s No. 2 pick, Lonzo Ball, with whom Crawford reportedly has a solid relationship already.
However, one has to wonder exactly how he’ll be able to get to that Lakers’ roster with his current situation and the fact that the Hawks may not help much.
L.A. Lakers fans, does adding Jamal Crawford to the current lineup get this team any closer to contending for a spot in the playoffs? How much longer do you believe Crawford will play in the NBA for?
[Featured Image by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images]