Philadelphia 76ers: Jamal Crawford is a perfect free agent fit

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

If the Philadelphia 76ers want to add some serious offensive firepower for the 2018 NBA season, they should seriously consider signing Jamal Crawford.

On the first day of last season’s free agency, the Philadelphia 76ers added one of the best sharpshooters in the league in 33-year-old shooting guard J.J. Redick, but could the team double dip from the Los Angeles Clippers and sign his former teammate Jamal Crawford for the 2018 season?

Crawford, the eighth overall pick in the 2000 draft, has played for seven different teams over his 18 year NBA career, and while his role on teams has slowly changed over the years, the one thing that will seemingly never change is his ability to score the rock.

If there’s one thing Jamal Crawford can do, it’s shoot.

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In 433 games of action, Crawford has scored an incredible 18,906 points, including 13 seasons where he recorded at least 1,000, while maintaining a 41 percent shooting percentage from the field.

Shooters are going to shoot as they say.

Though he may not be the best defender in the league, earning a Redick-esque -2.48 Real Plus-Minus and only completed 33.1 percent of his 314 attempts from three in 2017-2018, Crawford has established himself as one of the best scoring guards in the league over the last decade, and the best part? Crawford is fine doing his dirty work coming off the bench.

While he was once a legitimate starting caliber shooting guard from 2004-2009, Crawford has since transitioned into a sixth man role over the last nine seasons of his career and has arguably developed into one of the best bench scorers in the entire league.

A three-time winner of the NBA Sixth-Man of the Year award, Crawford has averaged almost 15 points on 12 shots a game while knocking down 35 percent of his three-point shots over the last 665 games, and could finally give the Sixers a legitimate bench scorer to further bolster their collection of wings shooters going into next season.

Crawford could be like a Marco Belinelli-plus for the Sixers moving forward.

After spending a fairly uneventful season with the Minnesota Timberwolves on a $4.2 million deal, I imagine Crawford would love to rejoin Redick on a team with a legitimate chance to make a run at a title.

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Even though he doesn’t possess the 3-point accuracy that Bryan Colangelo typically covets in his wing shooters, Crawford is a professional in every sense of the word and could give Ben Simmons a smart, proven scorer to waiting in the wings for an open three.

And while Crawford’s ability to score the ball would obviously be appreciated, his wealth of NBA experience could be even more valuable to the team moving forward.

At 38 years old, Crawford is one of the most experienced players in the entire league and could help to bring some more experience to Brett Brown‘s squad. Though he may not be the fastest, strongest, or most athletic player in the NBA, Crawford’s 1262 games worth of experience in the league, when coupled with 74 appearances in the playoffs would give the team some much needed postseason experience to further pad out their roster, and help reload the Sixers’ roster in route to their second playoff appearance in as many seasons.

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Though he’s not a perfect fit, Jamal Crawford could be an intriguing, value-cautious addition to the Philadelphia 76ers roster going into 2018, and may finally give the team a legitimate award-winning sixth man as they reload for another run at an NBA Championship.