Indy Star reporter Mike Wells is handling duties as the resident rumor monger for free agents considering and/or under consideration to join the Indiana Pacers roster this season. Even though Larry Bird warned everyone on Thursday not to believe any free agent or trade speculation, I find it hard not to hear a name without pausing to envision the player in a Pacers uniform and then considering how said player may fit in the playing rotation.
Interest btween Pacers and J Crawford is mutual. Crawford and G Hill 2gether in the backcourt w Granger for scoring options late n games.
Crawford always seems to evoke an initial negative response from people because of what he doesn't do well. At one time in his career he was considered a point guard but he's not really a point guard. I was actually surprised to see that he has a career assist average of about four assist per game. His career assist % of 21.3% ranks him 28th among active players well behind the league's elite point guards that double that percentage.
Crawford also seems to save energy at the defensive end of the floor so can put up shots at the other end. But he can score and the bigger the shot the better. When time is winding down, Crawford has that ice-cold-gimme-the-ball-I-got-this gene that Reggie Miller regularly tapped at the end of games. The bigger the game the better.
No, I'm not crazy enough to make Reggie Miller a comp for Jamal Crawford, but both share that swagger to go for the kill, something the Pacers have desperately needed in the past few seasons as fourth quarter leads slipped away only to turn into gut-wrenching losses.
After making around $10 million last season, Crawford will have to accept a smaller salary more akin to a player coming off the bench. But at 31, he also heads into a phase of his career where he can do what he does and make an impact focusing on a specific role in a playing rotation. That role should entail a bit more than volume shooter, though. He has to provide some leadership, spread the swag, if you will, and fit in with a team defensive scheme.
The best comp I can think of Crawford to emulate is one of his mentors from Seattle, Jason Terry. Jet helped push Dallas to a title last year with his play off the bench, and like Crawford, he's never one to pass up a big shot. So consider Crawford a poor-man's Jet Terry but with all of the supposed interest in Crawford he may be paid better than expected. If that's the case, I'm sure those checks won't come from the Pacers.
But if the price is right...how do you think Crawford would fit with the Pacers?