Jamal Crawford would consider joining the Celtics if the Hawks buy him out
To the victors come the spoils. As the Celtics now have Gordon Hayward on his way to Boston to join the Celtics they've become a destination for veteran players looking to join a contender. With Jamal Crawford landing on a now full-on rebuilding Atlanta Hawks team after being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-team deal that also involved the Denver Nuggets he's already looking for a buyout so he can join a contending team:
3-team trade involving LAC, DEN and ATL expected to be finalized today and Jamal Crawford will work on buyout soon after, sources tell ESPN.
Obviously the usual suspects arose as potential destinations for Crawford, both Cleveland and Golden State, but according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders the Celtics are also in the mix for his services:
Jamal Crawford would consider joining the Celtics, if bought out by the Hawks, a source told Basketball Insiders. https://t.co/gRmLIfZ9Gk
Crawford could provide some offensive punch off the bench for a 2nd-unit that could certainly benefit from his outside shooting. He averaged 12.2 points off the bench for the Clippers last season in just over 26 minutes per game while shooting 36% from three. He'd certainly help spread the floor for the two young slashers in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as well as his good friend Isaiah Thomas, although depending on who ends up moving in a trade to clear space for Hayward's max-deal the Celtics have a crowded backcourt at the moment.
My biggest concern is addressing the slim front court that the C's currently have with both Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson both gone and Jonas Jerebko not too far behind. Ante Zizic has shown a few flashes in his first two summer league games but he still looks way too raw to be counted on as a major contributor to start the season.
With the Celtics filling their cap space with Hayward's new deal they'll be armed with just the mid-Level exception ($8.5 million), bi-annaul exception ($3.3 million) and veteran/regular minimum deals to acquire other talent via free agency. Since Crawford would likely require all of the 8.5 million from the MLE I'd prefer to see the Celtics address their needs with some size before chasing another guard, although Danny Ainge may be planning on making a move via trade to restock the front court with both Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley both on expiring deals this season. If he can find another way to acquire some good big bodies I'd be all in on adding Crawford.