Has father time caught up with NBA sharpshooter Jamal Crawford? The 2019-20 NBA season is underway, and the reliable 18-year veteran is still unsigned. Last season, the 39-year-old averaged a respectable 7.9 points, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 rebounds in 64 games for the Phoenix Suns.
Stunningly, Crawford finished the 2018-19 season by dropping 51 points in a loss against the Dallas Mavericks. Crawford became the oldest player in NBA history to score 50 points or more in a memorable game that also saw the revered Dirk Nowitzki, 40, retired from the NBA after 21 seasons.
Call off the Grim Reaper: NBA Analyst Chauncey Billups Believes Jamal Crawford Can Still Play
During Monday’s broadcast of the Charlotte Hornets versus Los Angeles Clippers on NBA TV, analyst Chauncey Billups surmised Jamal Crawford could still put up high numbers in the league.
“Jamal Crawford at 39 years old last year scored 50 points in a game, and he can probably get 40 something on a few nights again if someone would sign him. It’s remarkable,” said Billups.
It’s high praise for the veteran guard, but this also isn’t the first time that he’s been linked to a team as the current season has gotten underway.
J Crossover & Los Angeles Lakers?
Despite his age, Crawford has another notable former NBA player willing to vouch for his elite skills on the hardwood. Three-time NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas identified the guard-depleted Los Angeles Lakers as a potential team that could benefit from Crawford’s abilities.
“They need his outside shooting,” Arenas told me in August. “They also need his creativity to provide more baskets, and they need another guard.”
The Lakers may not be a far-fetched idea for the aging Crawford. He is favored by the King. In 2017, Lebron James tried to recruit Crawford during the free agency period. Despite James’ efforts, the three-time Sixth Man of the Year decided to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Jamal Crawford Has Been Vocal on Twitter
During the opening week of the 2019-20 NBA season, Crawford shared what he likes about the Los Angeles Lakers duo LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He also pointed out a flaw and hinted that he could fill in if the Lakers were to sign him.
“Bron and AD are great, like the Lakers shooters, BUT feels like they’re missing another scoring creator..,” tweeted Crawford.
Earlier this month, Crawford tweeted the Golden State Warriors needed to acquire a third scorer with Klay Thompson out for the year with an ACL injury.
“With no Klay, Warriors will need someone to be [a] consistent third guy (scoring-wise) to be competitive in the West..,” said Crawford.
Dwyane Wade told Heavy.com’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson last month that he would like to see Crawford sign with the Warriors.
“I would love to see him on a team like the Golden State [Warriors],” said Wade.
“Just because he can rock out, man, he’s exciting. You get somebody that can come off the bench and put up 20 like there’s nothing. It would be good, obviously, without Klay [Thompson] getting injured and losing Kevin Durant. Having a scoring punch come off the bench would be good for them.”
Crawford seemed to be a fan of the idea.
Wizards’ Isaiah Thomas Has One Word for the NBA’s Treatment of Veterans: Disrespectful
The general consensus among most NBA experts and players is that a few out-of-work veterans should still be lacing it up in the league. Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas went on record and said the lack of signings of key veterans was “disrespectful.” The two-time NBA All-Star urged teams to sign numerous NBA veterans who want to continue their careers, including Crawford, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith. During a recent visit to Dallas, the Washington Wizards guard said notable veterans capable of still playing the game should be treated better by the league based on their contributions to the sport.
“Carmelo [Anthony] is a Hall of Famer. Jamal Crawford is arguably the best sixth-man ever to play the game. J.R. Smith is a champion, and Iman Shumpert is another one with a ring that needs to be signed,” said Thomas.
Rumors about Anthony not playing in the league ever again began after his short stint in Houston (2018). Despite several online workout videos showing he can still shoot the lights out of the basket and an appeal to play again on ESPN’s “First Take” with Stephen A. Smith this summer, no NBA team has signed the 10-time All-Star.
The debate about why the vets have not been picked up continues and those same veterans are not going away quietly. Recently on Showtime’s “All The Smoke” with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, J.R. Smith said he works out daily and declared himself ready to play if a team calls. The freeze-out of veterans still capable of playing is surely frustrating for the out-of-work vets and current players alike.
“These are great players that forever reason they aren’t on a team, and they can help a young team a championship-contending team,” Thomas said. “They are really great players, and it just sucks that it is an unfortunate situation that they haven’t been signed. Hopefully, they are signed soon.”