The Wizards may not be done with free agency moves just yet. According to Marc Spears of ESPN, the team could be looking to make a move for Sixth Man of the Year, Jamal Crawford:
With Lakers interest dying on both sides, source says Crawford is expected to have interest from T-Wolves, Cavs & Wizards after bought out. https://t.co/Jl1EKdoo1O— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 6, 2017
Crawford is being shipped to Atlanta as part of the three-way trade between the Clippers, Nuggets, and Hawks involving Danilo Gallinari and Paul Millsap. Since the Hawks don’t have much of a need for the veteran guard as they enter a rebuild, they’re expected to offer Crawford a buyout so he can latch on with a playoff contender.
Certainly, he would bring some much-needed shot creation off the bench for Washington. Even though he’s 37, he can still have very productive moments. He had 14 games in the regular season where he scored at least 20 points, and added two more during the playoffs. Obviously, he’s very one-dimensional and that one dimension isn’t as strong as it used to be. But even on his bad nights, he’d create more challenges for opposing defenses than the Wizards’ bench did most of last season.
The real question is how would the Wizards go about trying to acquire Crawford? Assuming the Wizards match Otto Porter’s offer sheet, as they’ve indicated they will do, Washington does not have an open roster spot. They would either need to waive one of their unguaranteed players (Sheldon Mac or Daniel Ochefu) or do an unbalanced trade to open up a roster spot.
In either case, the Wizards won’t have much to offer financially. Washington can’t offer what’s left of the Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception after the Jodie Meeks deal, because as a veteran with over 10 years of service time, Crawford’s veteran minimum ($2.3 million) is worth more than what the Wizards have left of the MLE ($2 million).
The good news for Washington is the Wolves and Cavaliers are also fairly cash-strapped at the moment and won’t have much to offer in free agency. For Crawford, it will likely come down to which team offers the right balance of fit and potential to go deep in the playoffs.