Free agent shooting guard Jamal Crawford is still looking for a home. Here’s why the Boston Celtics should sign him.
The Athletic‘s Jared Weiss reported that the Boston Celtics and Jamal Crawford have mutual interest. This comes as no surprise given Boston’s will to win a championship and Crawford’s experience and hunger for his first championship ring.
Despite being 38 years old, Crawford has shown flashes of his former 24-year-old self. With age, comes experience. He can score and shoot the ball, as well as provide mentorship to the younger players.
That may not be such a bad thing on a Celtics roster that is already one of the youngest in the NBA. Crawford would certainly be a great locker room guy. When listening to interviews or even accounts from people around the league, it’s easy to see that he’s one of the more genuine guys.
In an interview last season after hitting the game-winner and tacking on 17 points in the fourth quarter, Crawford was incredibly humble. Every time he was asked about the play or the game, he continued to show respect to his teammates and coaches for helping him get to that point. There’s no doubt that he’s one of the better locker room guys around the league.
Having a locker room presence like Crawford is one of the most important aspects of a winning team. That would be a great thing to have on a young team like the Celtics. Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart would be ahead of him on the depth chart, but allowing Crawford to do his thing in an allotted amount of minutes would not be a bad thing.
The Celtics ranked 18th in the NBA in bench scoring last year. Adding Crawford would certainly help some of these scoring deficiencies. He is not the same player he once was and that’s obvious. He’s a former three-time Sixth Man of the Year award winner and there won’t be anymore of that out of him.
Last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he averaged 10.3 points, 2.3 assists, 1.2 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game. Still, the Celtics can use the depth, especially if someone gets injured again. They will also be without guard Jabari Bird after some disturbing news broke out.
There are only two causes of concern with Crawford. He does have a tendency to take too many shots. Guys like Crawford take a lot of shots, and when they’re scoring, they’re on. Unfortunately, he only shot 41.5 percent from the field and 33.1 from 3-point range last year, which suggests his shooting (and shot selection) is getting worse.
Crawford also has no inch of defense in him. Last season he had posted an ugly 112.9 defensive rating, which was one of the worst ratings on the Wolves. He even ranked 242nd among guards in the NBA. There’s no denying that Crawford is a liability on defense. However, this issue may not be so big because the Celtics are already elite on defense.
While his defense and questionable shots could become an issue, Boston’s pressing lack of depth and bench scoring overcome any of those problems. Plus, his locker room presence would be major bonus. The Boston Celtics struggled last season with depth, injuries and scoring off the bench. Crawford would be some help in these categories.