We are at the point of the NBA season where veterans and bought out free agents become important and the Los Angeles Lakers are one team that is in the market.
The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the best teams in the league. They currently lead the Western Conference in the standings and alongside the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks, they are far ahead of the rest of the league in terms of title chances.
The Lakers were unable to improve at the NBA Trade Deadline, like many thought they would. The Clippers ended up with Marcus Morris, Derrick Rose was not moved anywhere and there really were not any viable trade options that were worth trading for.
As a result, the focus has immediately shifted to potentially buy out candidates as well as veterans who are already on the free-agent market. Tyler Johnson and Dion Waiters were added to that market on Monday, a market that has consisted of Jamal Crawford the entire season.
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Like Carmelo Anthony last year, Crawford has been a free agent all season and diehard basketball fans are asking why he does not have a team. Crawford is a legend in his own right, he is one of the best sixth men of this generation and resonates as a “true hooper” with the fans.
Those that argue for Crawford only need to bring up his legacy and the fact that he scored 51 points against the Dallas Mavericks last season. When you just look at Crawford on the surface level, you can easily talk yourself into the Los Angeles Lakers signing him.
Not only should the Lakers not sign Crawford, but it should not even be a consideration. And to be clear, there is nothing telling us that there is any legitimate interest from the Lakers. Everything seems to be fan-driven speculation just because of the love for Crawford.
There are multiple reasons for the Lakers not to go after Crawford, most notably, his age. Age in the NBA is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you are not as good when you get up there in age. On the other hand, you suddenly get the veteran label slapped on you, which could go a long way.
Fans love talking about the veteran impact on young players and as someone who has covered the Lakers for nearly three years, I can tell you that I have written quite a few veteran impact pieces when the core of the team was still young.
The core of this team is not young. In fact, the entire team is filled with veterans. Crawford will not add any more “veteran presence” than the next guy, which turns the double-edged sword into a single blade — Crawford’s age has hindered his ability.
While he scored 51 points in a game last season, he is not the shot creator that fans think he is and that the Lakers need. He averaged only 7.9 points per game last season, and more importantly, has shot a combined 33.8 percent from beyond the arc the last five seasons.
There are two things that make a good role player around LeBron James: three-point shooting and defense. Crawford is not a great three-point shooter and his defense, at age 40, definitely is not good enough to warrant a good chunk of minutes.
So while the hooper inside of us all loves Jamal Crawford, from a pure fit standpoint, he should not be on the Los Angeles Lakers’ radar whatsoever.