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Northwest’s Most Wanted NBAer – Jamal Crawford

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Born and raised in Seattle, there is a good chance that when (or if) the NBA returns to action this season, fans in the Northwest may be fortunate enough to have a neighbourhood favorite in one Jamal Crawford pull on a Trailblazers jersey.

After being drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2000 and immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls, Crawford, though popular with teammates and fans, has bounced around the league, with stops in New York, Golden State and for the past two seasons, Atlanta.

Proving to be a valuable commodity at either the point guard or off guard position as a starter throughout the majority of his career, Crawford has most recently found a niche coming off the bench as a spark plug for the Hawks.

While he captured the 2009-10 Sixth Man of the Year award, it was the first time in Crawford’s professional career that he did not start a single game.

He still posted one of his most efficient shooting season’s in his career and averaged 18 points per game, good enough to be the second leading scorer for the Hawks.

Jamal Crawford

Jamal grabbed the 2009-10 NBA 6th Man Award

Last season, Crawford’s productions slipped as his scoring average was the lowest in seven years, as the Hawks were once again bounced in the Eastern Semi-Finals.

Although the most successful basketball in JC’s career has been in an Atlanta Hawks jersey, it is greatly assumed that whenever the NBA returns to action, that the Seattle shooting guard will find himself in yet another uniform.

Over the past couple of months, both LaMarcus Aldridge and Lebron James have been working hard to woo the 6’6 guard to either RIP City or South Beach, feeling that Crawford might be the one missing link to their championship aspirations.

SIGNING OPTIONS

1) Portland

Led by LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy, the “Home Team” has jumped ahead of the pack with Roy being a close friend and Aldridge already hitting the up the media with quotes of welcoming Crawford to the Blazers roster.  The big question is where would JC fit in on the already crowded backcourt?

If Roy comes back healthy, he will most definitly claim the starting 2 spot, with Wesley Matthews coming off the bench.  The best spot for Crawford would be to run the point, either coming off the bench behind Ray Felton or opening the game with a bigger backcourt.

However, after moving Andre Miller in the offseason for Felton, it might not make sense to move the North Carolina guard to the bench.  Either way, Crawford will contribute to the Blazers lineup and has proven his willingness to do what a team needs.

2) Atlanta

In the city where Crawford has found the most success, it only seems fitting that they would have the opportunity to resign such a valuable commodity.  The only problems that Atlanta is facing in resigning JC is that they didn’t do it when he asked them to do it and they decided to throw a truck load of cash at Joe Johnson.

While ATL should in theory be able to offer the most lucrative contract, a lot will depend on what the new agreement looks like.

The Hawks have been to the playoffs two years in a row with a decent lineup, but the East has started to become stronger and if the Hawks don’t find some more depth, they will once again find themselves bounced out of the post season early, if they make it at all.

3) Miami

1) Lebron, 2) Wade, 3) South Beach.  Three pretty good reasons to pull on a Heat uniform next season.

If they were to replace an aging Bibby with the younger, bigger, more athletic Crawford, the Heat could roll out an incredibly scary starting line of Crawford (pg), Wade (sg), James (sf), Bosh/Haslem (pf/c).

The big problem with this picture, the game is played with only one ball.  Adding Crawford, who needs the rock to be effective will only hamper the desires of the other three, but oooh wee, wouldn’t the highlight reel be down right nasty!

Jamal Crawford

Northwest's Most Wanted NBAer - Jamal Crawford

4) Lakers

Some might think this is a stretch, but the league and the Lakers both saw a slight glimpse of a declining Kobe last year.  The loss of Shannon Brown to free agency opens up a great spot for Crawford to step into, allowing the Lakers to lessen Bryant’s minutes without losing the scoring option.

While JC doesn’t seem like a huge spotlight hound, he was able to handle the media and fans in New York, so the Lakers Nation shouldn’t be that hard to deal with.

5) Chicago

Quick, name the last impressive 2 guard to wear a Bulls jersey?  It seemed like forever ago that Ben Gordon was filling the role for the Bulls and before that it was the combo of Jalen Rose and yes, Jamal Crawford.  Quick, name the three headed monster that was the off guard for Chicago last season?  Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer and Keith Bogans.  None of those three strike fear into the hearts of the opposition.

A Derrick Rose and Jamal Crawford backcourt…that is down right scary!  

Picture Rose driving to the hoop and actually having an option to kick out to, who can quickly create his own shot.  The biggest story for the Bulls last season and the main reason why everyone felt that they fell short of representing the East in the NBA finals, was their need for a shooting guard.  Enter Jamal Crawford.

With Crawford recently announcing that he will be the title name behind a second Seattle NBA charity game, December 15th, it may be a subtle hint as to where Crawford would rather call home for his next contract, as Roy and Aldridge are two of the players who will be taking part in the event, whereas members of the other four squads that are potential suitors for JC, are noticeably absent.

 

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About Steve Lee

Steve is a 12 year writing vet, and writes for a number of sports sites, offering a unique and abstract look at the games we love. He still hopes the Grizz + Sonics return to the Northwest, and has been a Lakers fan since "Showtime".
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