Golden State Warriors: Why Jamal Crawford Would Be a Good Fit

Jamal Crawford, the ball-handling wizard just finished his 18th season in the league and just turned 38. He declined his player option with the Minnesota Timberwolves and entered the free agent market. Known for his microwave-like scoring ability, Crawford has drawn free agent interest from several teams such as the Wizards and Sixers. Add another team to the free agent list: the Golden State Warriors.

It is worth noting that Draymond Green and Kevin Durant lobbied to bring Crawford aboard the Warriors dynastic empire.

The former Sixth Man of the Year and former Warrior could help the Warriors bench shooting and scoring, something that the Warriors have somewhat lacked throughout this dynastic run. They have not had a sublime scoring threat off the bench. Crawford would provide an instant offense not many players other than Lou Williams could match. With his mixtape ball-handling skills and supreme shooting, Crawford provides another shot creator, other than Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Adding Crawford to the mix, it would help with the minute management of Curry, Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to keep them as fresh as possible for their playoff run.

Last season with the Timberwolves, Crawford averaged 10.3 ppg on 41.5 percent shooting from the field, including 33.1 percent from beyond the arc. The numbers don’t look great, but it’s because he played on a team in Minnesota, where they ranked in back of the middle of the pack in assists per game at 22.7 apg good for 18th in the league. What this suggests is that the Timberwolves played a little more isolation-type basketball than share the wealth, like how the Warriors did. To compare, Golden State averaged just a shade under 30 assists per game at 29.3 apg.

The shooting percentages last season might look dismal for a super scorer such as Crawford, but he was not playing with an infinity gauntlet of all-stars. With an embarrassment of riches around him, Crawford could receive several wide-open looks and catch-and-shoot opportunities.

On catch-and-shoot opportunities, Crawford shot 40 percent from the field at a frequency of 26.2 percent of the time. He shot 60 percent off catch-and-shoot two-point shots and 37.6 percent from beyond the arc. Compare this to Crawford’s patented pull-up jumper and he shot 41.9 percent from the field at a much higher frequency of 61 percent of the time. He shot 48.3 on pull-up two-point shot attempts and 28.2 percent from the three-point line.

If Crawford is willing to attempt fewer pull-up shots and more catch-and-shoot jumpers, both he and the Warriors would benefit from it. His catch-and-shoot percentage from two is much better than it is from beyond the arc. With all-star teammates surrounding the instant scoring machine, he would get many open looks from the attention drawn from them.

Not only would Crawford help improve the scoring off the bench helping Kerr rest his stars, but he would offer another veteran presence with the departures of Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee, and presumably David West retiring as well. Crawford would be their go-to veteran scorer off the bench, while Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala are the playmakers of the second unit.

If Patrick McCaw, who has yet to re-sign with the Warriors, chooses to not come back to the Warriors, Crawford should be the Warriors first option to replace the second-year guard out of UNLV. Crawford’s instant scoring ability should unload some of the offensive burdens from Curry, Durant, and Thompson.

The Warriors should sign Jamal Crawford to a minimum contract deal if Durant and Green are on board with having the instant offense machine. GM Bob Myers needs to figure out how to make his stars’ wishes come true about the former Warrior have his second stint in the Bay Area.

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