ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 19: Jamal Crawford #11 of the Atlanta Hawks shoots against the Orlando Magic during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2011 at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
The Sacramento Kings are unlikely to sign Jamal Crawford, I would imagine; according to Sam Amick, the Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks are also in the hunt, and the Kings never really do anything with a full-court press.
While the Kings have cap space, those two teams need Crawford more, at least on paper. The Knicks are making their runs and have no backcourt playmaking; the Blazers are rather light on the perimeter. Both teams expect to be in the playoffs.
Do the Kings?
Crawford is 31, and one expects that this would be a short-term (1-2 years) deal. The Kings would seem to have their backcourt rotation in place with Tyreke Evans (starting at point guard), Marcus Thornton (starting at two-guard) and Jimmer Fredette (off the bench for either), with Francisco Garcia and Isaiah Thomas ready to fill in. Adding Crawford pops Fredette over to back-up point guard full-time; it could push Thornton into a back-up role in the immediate term, which would be really odd considering the Kings just spent $31 million on Thornton over four years. That's not "back-up from Day 1" money.
Crawford is a scorer, an experienced gunner never shy on the trigger with decent but not great playmaking ability and a decent foul-drawing streak. He's basically a bigger Thornton, but one who's been around for years. What's the plan here?
I understand the club's push to add some seasoning to all this raw meat, but if you're signing Jamal Crawford at this stage, you are doing so to make a serious run at the No. 8 seed. There's no way around it. You can see a player like Andrei Kirilenko being a factor for multiple years given the core of the club. With the backcourt looking the way it does, the same doesn't apply to Crawford. Backcourt bench scorer would seem to be a spot of plenty for the Kings already.
Is it wise to chase Crawford given what the Kings have? What's it mean for what Geoff Petrie and Paul Westphal see in this team?