The Hawks three-way sign and trade deal with the Nuggets and Clippers is now officially complete.
Sign and trades have become rare in recent years, but with the changes in the cap there is reason to believe this is more of the beginning of a trend rather than a surprise. Competing teams are going to need to unload cap if they want to sign stars to these humongous contracts.
In this trade the Hawks parted ways with Paul Millsap, who was on his way out the door as a free agent anyways, and received a first-round pick from the Clippers (via the Rockets), Diamond Stone and Jamal Crawford. That first-round pick is bound to be very late with the Rockets adding Chris Paul this offseason, but it still gives Atlanta three possible first-round picks for next season. Diamond Stone is also a project big man that fell to the second round in last year’s draft. Stone was not likely to get much of a chance with the Clippers, but could play a much bigger role on a rebuilding Hawks squad.
The one remaining question from this deal is what is going to happen to Jamal Crawford?
Crawford was given a 3-year, $42 million dollar deal by the Clippers as a 36-year old last offseason. Los Angeles certainly regretted that decision after a poor campaign in his first year of the deal. J-Crossover only averaged 12.3 points per game, his lowest mark since the 2002-2003 season.
Yeah, Crawford has been in the league forever and played in a variety of different cities. He previously joined the Hawks back in 2009, where he won his first of a record three Sixth Man of the Year awards. But times were a little different back then. The Hawks were firm playoff contenders and Crawford had never played in the playoffs. Now, Crawford has participated in a multitude of postseasons and the Hawks look to be in full rebuild mode.
Understandably, Crawford is not interested in a rebuild at 37-years old. That is what multiple reports have suggested around the NBA before the trade was even official.
In rare double sign-and-trade with Hawks, Clippers & Nuggets, could see Jamal Crawford end up in ATL, sources say. Would likely want buyout.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 4, 2017
Hawks will have to work with Jamal Crawford who does not want to return for another stint in Atlanta.
— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) July 4, 2017
But Atlanta does not seem too interested in buying out Crawford and just letting him go for nothing to a contending team. The Hawks have plenty of cap space, and with only $3 million of Crawford’s deal guaranteed in 2018, the team does not really have a need to get rid of him. The Hawks have a plethora of young talent, and Crawford could at the very least serve as a mentor for them.
David Aldridge added to reports that while Crawford may want a trade, he is not opposed to staying in Atlanta and playing out the season.
Also hearing while Jamal Crawford wants a buyout from Hawks (several teams interested), he's open to staying there and playing next season.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) July 4, 2017
At the end of the day, the Hawks are in full control and a trade seems like the most likely option unless Crawford is willing to buy out for a significantly lesser amount. Chris Haynes of ESPN reported that multiple teams have already inquired about a possible deal for Crawford.
Update: Cleveland, San Antonio and others inquiring. Atlanta prefers a trade. https://t.co/NKdozgVDxa
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 4, 2017
There is a chance Atlanta holds on a little before dealing him. Crawford is coming off a down year. The market for him is not exactly hot, but teams will constantly be looking for scoring during this upcoming season to keep up with the juggernaut Warriors. Crawford, while well out of his prime, can still get buckets in bunches. If Crawford can over preform in a large role early on in the season with the Hawks, Atlanta may be able to add on to their pile of first-round draft picks they have accumulated.