With free agency now more than a week old, the Lakers’ options in free agency are beginning to dwindle. One of the remaining names that has been mentioned for the Lakers is veteran shooting guard Jamal Crawford.
After being traded from the Clippers to the Atlanta Hawks, Crawford was bought out, making him a free agent. The Lakers were said to be his preference, though Cleveland had also been mentioned as Crawford had been in contact with LeBron James.
Now it looks as if neither will land him as Shams Charania of The Vertical reports that Crawford will be signing a two-year contract the Minnesota Timberwolves:
Sources: Crawford plans to sign with Minnesota on a two-year, $8.9M deal, with second year player option, once he clears waivers. https://t.co/q8kfKfQLXW
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 8, 2017
There had also been some reports that the Lakers’ interest in Crawford was dying so it had already begun looking like him returning to Los Angeles was unlikely. However, something else could be in play as well.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope recently became an unrestricted free agent and the Lakers are interested in him as well. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report suggests that the Lakers are waiting to see if the Nets will pursue him, which may have caused them to miss out on Crawford:
Expect Lakers are waiting on Nets to find out if Wizards match Otto, to see if the Nets give KCP a big deal… https://t.co/0mJqxhLEw1
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 8, 2017
If the Wizards match the Nets’ offer sheet to Otto Porter, which is expected, the Nets will likely turn their attention to Caldwell-Pope and offer him a lucrative long-term contract that the Lakers won’t be able to compete with. If Porter becomes a Net, however, the Lakers could be in the driver seat by offering him a big money one-year deal and then trying to sign him long-term next summer.
The Lakers still have yet to sign anyone this summer, but there are still some names out there. Veterans Rajon Rondo and Rodney Stuckey remain options should Caldwell-Pope go elsewhere.