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Jamal Crawford wouldn’t mind playing in Portland

Nov 7, 2011, 11:45 PM EDT

Jamal Crawford

Around the league, players love Jamal Crawford. He is a popular guy in league locker rooms. And he’s a guy who can come off the bench and light it up — he’s not going to be efficient doing that, and he’ll get lost on defense every other time down, but he’ll put up points. That’s how he won sixth man of the year in 2010 with the Hawks.

All that and his age (soon to be 32) sets him up to be one of the most overpaid players this free agency period (whenever that is post lockout). And LaMarcus Aldridge has lobbied hard to make Portland the team that overpays him, even asking fans to try and recruit him on twitter. (Because the Trail Blazers don’t have enough contracts to worry about like Greg Oden and Brandon Roy.) Aldridge put on the full court press when Crawford came to Rip City last weekend for a charity game.

Crawford himself likes the idea, he told Ben Goliver of Eye on Basketball.

“Yeah, definitely,” Crawford said. “I’ve been watching the Blazers so long with Brandon [Roy] being one of my best friends. With LaMarcus here, Wes and Ray, it’s almost close to a hometown team. I’m from Seattle. It’s the closest thing we have to basketball right now.”

“I think I would bring a little bit of everything to Portland,” Crawford said. “Scoring, creating for other people. Trying to make the game easier for my teammates… I think they’re a team on the rise.”

There are teams where Crawford makes sense. Win now teams. Portland, on the other hand, needs to scrapping the last win now plan and building for the long term. Which is not what owner Paul Allen wanted to hear (so he fired Rich Cho), he wants to think this team is closer to winning than it is. So Allen may want to go after him.

But Paul Allen himself will prevent that with his hardline stance in negotiations. Portland already has $73 million committed for next season, well over the projected salary cap and luxury tax lines. And even if they amnesty Brandon Roy (which they likely will not) and get Oden to take less, the Blazers are not going to have the money to pay what Crawford will get on the open market.

So, nice dream, but not going to happen.

  1. 00maltliquor - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    Portland’s a damn good team and are close to being a real threat for contention, so what are you talking ’bout, Kurt? Why in the hell would they need to rebuild? They got a ton of good young pieces.

    Unless Portlant amnesties Roy, where would Crawdad fit in? Wes is already getting paid decent and is young and on the rise, and Roy’s good for 15-20 min. a game for the next 1-2 years so…doesn’t make much sense. They need to spend that money and get a backup big or two like a C and/or a PF ’cause thats where they are really thin at. I love the drafting of Nolan Smith for Ray Rays 12 min. a game back-up break so they are good there, no need to have Crawford as the back-up PG. Basically, it sounds nice, but highly unneccisary. I wish I was a GM! Sheesh

  2. 06mustang - Nov 8, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    We in Portland call him “O-dumb”

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