LaMarcus Aldridge teamed up with Jamal Crawford recently at Kevin Durant’s charity game in Oklahoma City, and it appears those two really enjoyed each other’s company.
Coming off a season with the Atlanta Hawks where Crawford, a Seattle native, averaged 15 points, 4 assists, and a little over 2.5 rebounds per game, the 6’6″ guard is now a free agent. LeBron James put Crawford’s name out on Twitter a couple weeks ago as a guy he’d like to see sign with Miami, and now Aldridge is taking to the The Oregonian to make explicitly clear how much he wants to team up with Crawford in Rip City.
This from Joe Freeman of The Oregonian:
When Aldridge played with Crawford during Kevin Durant’s charity game in Oklahoma City last month, Crawford expressed a desire to play for the Blazers. Aldridge didn’t merely embrace the idea, he lobbied for the move on Twitter, writing: “Rip City when (Crawford) come play in my game we need to make him feel at home so he will sign with us!”
The Blazers and then-GM Rich Cho tried to trade for Crawford at the trade deadline last season and Aldridge remembers hearing rumors about the move at the time. So he asked Crawford if they were true. “He said, ‘Yeah,’ and that he would love to come play in Portland,” Aldridge said.
So Aldridge is drumming up support.
“I’m not being bashful,” Aldridge said. “I would love for him to come play in Portland. I put it out there so he knows I’m serious. If he really wants to do that, I wanted him to know I’m behind it.
“He’s a really good player. He doesn’t mind coming off the bench. Or starting. He can bring a different dynamic to the team. He’s great at pick and rolls; he’s a really good shooter. When I get double teamed, it would leave him open in the corner.”
Even at 30-years old, what makes Crawford an attractive piece to a playoff caliber team like Portland is the fact that not only doesn’t he mind coming off the bench, but he put points on the board immediately as soon as he does. He is a dynamic player in that sense, and he’s been a consistently good scorer for a long time in this League too. Not only has Crawford averaged over 15 points per game for his eleven year career in the Association, he’s also hit for at least 10 per game every year since the 2002-03 season.
Like any good scorer, however, Jamal Crawford isn’t shy. If he’s not exactly feeling it out there, he’ll launch as many shots as it takes to get him to start feeling it again, and that sometimes includes quite a few misfires in a row. He doesn’t play much defense either, but he is definitely a really good shooter, great at pick and rolls, and Aldridge is also right that Crawford is a certainly a guy who would be left open as threat in the corner when LaMarcus gets doubled teamed under the basket.
After recently trading for Raymond Felton just prior to the Lockout, the Blazers currently have Wesley Matthews, Brandon Roy, Armon Johnson, Eliot Williams and rookies Nolan Smith and Jon Diebler listed on their roster right now along with Patty Mills and Tanguay Ngombo. On paper, I would project the Blazers starting backcourt to be Raymond Felton and Wesley Matthews, bringing Brandon Roy off the bench early for either one of those two guys. Depending on how Roy’s health holds up this season, Crawford would certainly be a nice insurance piece to have coming off the bench in a similar capacity.
Signing Jamal Crawford would also make the team’s best player pretty excited too, so it might not be a bad move to consider.