Once the rumors began to swirl about a three-team trade between the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, and Atlanta Hawks, Jamal Crawford’s immediate future became uncertain. Danilo Gallinari was at the center of the trade that officially went down this week with Crawford being sent to his former team in Atlanta.
Crawford isn’t interested in playing for the rebuilding Hawks and was said to favor the Los Angeles Lakers if he could come to terms on a buyout. Apparently, things have changed regarding Crawford’s preference after he reportedly spoke to superstar LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
Veteran guard Jamal Crawford is “very interested” in joining the Cavaliers if he becomes a free agent after a recent conversation with LeBron James, sources told cleveland.com.
Although Crawford turned 37 back in March, the veteran guard is still a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court. Crawford is instant offense off the bench and arguably the kind of player the Cavs need moving forward. He may not be a game changer in terms of putting Cleveland ahead of the Golden State Warriors as favorites to win the title next season, but it could be a step in the right direction for at least one year.
As for the Lakers, the team could turn all their attention to signing Rajon Rondo. Now that George Hill and Dion Waiters have agreed to deals, the Lakers brass may focus on signing the veteran point guard to be a mentor for rookie Lonzo Ball next season.
The Lakers attempted to trade for Celtics guard Avery Bradley, but they instead chose to send him to Detroit. Now the Lakers are said to be interested in pursuing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but the 24-year old may not be interested in a one-year deal.
Only time will tell what the Lakers end up doing in NBA free agency, but it seems fairly clear at this point that Crawford may be headed for Cleveland rather than Los Angeles.