Feb 29, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Jamal Crawford (11) attempts a three point shot during the second quarter of the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
The NBA trade deadline is approaching on March 15th with plenty of speculation around the league but little mention of the Indiana Pacers.
Larry Bird and David Morway aren't desperate to make a move but they have options should a favorable deal arise. One player the Pacers coveted before the season was shooting guard Jamal Crawford who passed on the Pacers' advances to sign with his close-to-hometown team in Portland.
Well, Crawford has a player option he plans to use after this season and things aren't going as smoothly as hoped with the Trail Blazers, leading to rumblings that the Blazers may look to move Crawford before the deadline. SI.com's Sam Amick explains this situation which may lead to Portland parting ways with Crawford.
Crawford wasn't a natural fit from the start, as defensive-minded coach Nate McMillan was said to be wary of whether his new player would buy in on both ends. What's more, McMillan's use of Crawford as the starting point guard over Raymond Felton rather than playing him at his natural off-guard position is causing Crawford some consternation.
I'm sure Frank Vogel would be happy to play Crawford as a scoring option off the bench as opposed to a point guard. Tyler Hansbrough would probably love to play with someone on the second unit that would force opponents to shift their defensive focus. But with other suitors involved the Pacers may pass based on the cost.
Now the Blazers may be better off letting Crawford walk after the season and using the cap space. If that's their preference, the Pacers could speed up the process and give them the cash now and use Crawford for the remainder of the season. Of course, that only works if the Blazers feel moving Crawford at this point would be addition by subtraction.
Any other math involving draft picks or valuable rotation players won't work for the Pacers. What do you think about making a run at Crawford?