If the latest rumors are to be believed, the long wait to be signed could soon be ending for free agent guard Jamal Crawford. The Phoenix Suns might be close to adding a veteran presence to their largely young and inexperienced point guard rotation.
According to a report from Arizona Sports, the Suns offered Crawford a veteran’s minimum contract on Friday — which means that the 38-year-old combo guard will likely be earning $2.4 million in the 2018-19 NBA season if he chooses to sign with the team. While further details on the contract were not discussed, Suns interim general manager — and vice president of basketball operations — James Jones said in a recent interview that Crawford would make a good addition to the roster, even as he prepares to play his 19th NBA season.
“I like Jamal. I know him personally. He’s a great player, he’s a great guy,” said Jones, as quoted from his recent appearance on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
“Those are the types of players that we will look towards as we go through the season. More importantly, it’s not even about who potentially could be here or who’s out there. I’m focused on who’s here and we know who those guys are.”
Jones added that Jamal Crawford is one of several players that the Phoenix Suns are considering as they continue their plans to bolster their point guard rotation. Mere days remain before the start of the 2018-19 regular season.
Jamal Crawford met with the Phoenix Suns. Not only would he provided much-needed help in their backcourt, he'd be an excellent leader and mentor for the Suns' young core. @BryanKalbrosky wrote about the possibility of Crawford joining Phoenix: https://t.co/R6g9Qael5k— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) October 13, 2018
Crawford has had a long, successful career since joining the league as the eighth pick in the 2000 NBA Draft. As shown on his Basketball-Reference player page, Crawford has won three NBA Sixth Man of the Year awards and compiled career averages of 15 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. His best statistical year took place during the 2007-08 season, where he averaged 20.6 points and five assists for the New York Knicks. The Seattle native last played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 10.3 points and 2.3 assists in a reserve role throughout the 2017-18 season.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns have been seen by many sources — including SBNation blog Bright Side of the Sun — as the team with the weakest point guard rotation in the NBA. Since the team traded Brandon Knight to the Houston Rockets in a deal that brought veteran forward Ryan Anderson to Phoenix, the Suns have lacked a “true starting-level point guard” on their roster. Second-year man Shaquille Harrison and 2018 second-round draft picks Elie Okobo and De’Anthony Melton are among those expected to see playing time at the point in the 2018-19 NBA season.