The Minnesota Timberwolves might have a bit more depth this year, but the bench could use a bit more punch. Enter Jamal Crawford?
Jamal Crawford has always provide instant offense throughout his lengthy career.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ bench is a bit thin on proven scorers, and the return of Crawford would He provide the Wolves with scoring off the bench so the starters can get more rest.
The Timberwolves need to shore up their bench for the upcoming season. In order for the team to be competitive and possibly have a shot at making the playoffs, they must have a consistent scorer who can knock down open jumpers and even make spot starts throughout the season. Of all the available free agents remaining, bringing back Jamal Crawford to the Twin Cities makes sense.
Granted, the Wolves roster is full at the moment, but there are moves that could still be made. And there’s always the possibility that they complete a trade that sends more players out than it brings back. And if it opens up a roster spot, Gersson Rosas should look at Crawford.
Crawford is a trusted veteran who has logged 19 years in the league. He’s played both as a starter and bench player but at this point in his illustrious career he is better suited to be a role player. He played for the Wolves in 2017-18, averaging 10.3 points on 41.5 percent shooting in just over 20 minutes per game.
Last season, he averaged 7.9 points per game in 18.9 minutes for the woeful Phoenix Suns. He also become the oldest player in NBA history to score 50 points or more in a game when he dropped 51 in the season finale against the Dallas Mavericks.
That last game is a clear indication Crawford still can play and compete at a high level even as he enters his 20th season at the age of 39. He is a career 34.8 percent 3-point shooter, which would be dearly welcomed by the Wolves as they were once again of the worst teams from long distance last year, finishing No. 19 in long-range percentage.
Admittedly, Crawford does not play much defense and is a ball-dominant volume scorer. He takes a lot of shots, which would take away from the development of other young teammates.
However, Crawford is historically one of the league’s most fearless players. For his career, he’s shot 41 percent from the field including 86.2 percent on field goals to go with 3.4 assists per game. He would provide the Wolves instant offense off the bench as the league’s only three-time winner of the Sixth Man of the Year award.
He can be inserted at both guard positions as he’s able to play off the ball as a spot-up shooter or run the offense as a point guard. Last season he had a usage rate of 20.8 percent and managed to hoist up 3.2 3-pointers per game and make them at a 33.2 percent rate. On two-pointers, Crawford shot 45.3 percent from the field.
If Crawford does give it a go for one more season, he’d be one of the few players in league history to play 20 years in the NBA and across three different decades. Crawford is widely respected around the league for his superior ball handling skills and for having one of the best crossovers of all time.
He would fit the role of a leader in the locker room and a savvy veteran who can provide direction and leadership for the youthful Wolves, and the Wolves could stand to add some swagger and instant offense to their reserve unit.