Confusion is the best way to describe fan reaction when rumors leaked that the Sacramento Kings had interest in former Atlanta Hawk, Jamal Crawford. It’s not that Crawford isn’t a nice player nor that he doesn’t have his strong points, it was more of a why when the Kings just signed a similar player in Marcus Thornton to a 4 year, $31 million dollar deal and drafted Jimmer Fredette.
Crawford’s one of the better sixth men in the league – a player who can light it up at any time for 30+ points. He’s also just as prone to drop a 2-8 with 6 points, so, you have to know what you’re getting into with Jamal – a modern day, worse shooting Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson.
The problem many have with the Kings bringing Crawford to Sacramento is what he’d prevent, and that’s much of a rookie season for Jimmer Fredette who (along with Isaiah Thomas) would feel the impact of the Crawford addition most. Rumors have swirled saying Crawford could start, sending Marcus Thornton to the bench (very odd, in my opinion) – but either way, both Thornton and Crawford would be pushing 30 minutes nightly, digging into Fredette’s minutes until the injury bug bites one of the backcourt players.
Adding Crawford to the Kings tells me one thing – the Kings aren’t currently comfortable with Jimmer Fredette’s ability – not that there is anything wrong with that. You can’t expect every drafted player to just be ready their rookie year.
The Kings currently sit as the highest bidder for Crawford’s service, offering a one year, 6.5 million dollar deal. Their biggest challenger, the Portland Trailblazers are offering a one year, 5 million dollar deal but present Crawford with a few things the Kings can’t, such as the ability to play in his “home area” (Crawford is from the Washington area and lives in the Northwest) – not to mention, Crawford wouldn’t be part of such a roster logjam in Portland.
It’s worth noting that Portland radio is reporting that a deal with Crawford is very close, so, as of right now it looks like the Kings extra funds aren’t going to be enough to sway Crawford into purple and black – but odder things have happened, especially now that the Blazers are reportedly involved in Dwight Howard trade talks (as the third team, not for Dwight directly).
How do I feel about Crawford becoming a King? Well, I can’t say I’d be jumping for joy – but I’m also not going to pretend to act as if I know how comfortable Geoff Petrie is with Jimmer Fredette, but given the fact he’s looking for outside help – it doesn’t exactly scream overflowing confidence.
The addition of Crawford would be for only a season – a stopgap giving the Kings a high quality scorer while allowing Fredette to get his feet wet in the NBA. Not exactly the most fan favorite move, but one that should give the Kings the best opportunity to win right now.