2012 NBA Free Agency logo2012 NBA Free Agency

Jamal Crawford: Breaking Down the Best Options for Free-Agent Shooting Guard

Roberto PayneContributor IJune 28, 2012

Jamal Crawford: Breaking Down the Best Options for Free-Agent Shooting Guard

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    As expected, Jamal Crawford has opted out of his contract with the Portland Trail Blazers and will be a free agent this offseason (as tweeted by Yahoo!'s Marc J. Spears).

    Crawford enters free agency fresh off a tough year with Portland and could have used a better year to secure a bigger deal. Although, no one doubts his talent and contenders all around will be calling trying to bolster their backcourt with the explosive Crawford.

    Teams like the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers could all use a scorer like Crawford in their run for an NBA title.

    Read on for a breakdown of possible suitors for the dynamic guard.

Boston Celtics

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    The Boston Celtics are one of the teams who may have interest in Crawford because they could use his scoring punch off their bench.

    The team currently has little to no scoring off the bench and Crawford is one of the better sixth men in the league. Throw in great coach Doc Rivers and the chance to play with the unselfish Rajon Rondo, and the fit seems perfect.

    Crawford is looking for a multi-year deal and that might be the only problem with signing in Boston, as the Celtics might be weary of signing a 32-year-old coming off a rough season.

Indiana Pacers

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    The Indiana Pacers have been looking for a scoring shooting guard for a while now and even tried to sign Jamal Crawford as a free agent last offseason (per ESPN's Marc Stein). A year has passed and the team still needs a scoring shooting guard off the bench.

    The Pacers have a strong starting lineup, but their bench hasn't been very strong. Add Crawford's instant offense and the team could achieve much better balance.

Los Angeles Clippers

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    The Los Angeles Clippers have a hole at shooting guard and need a wing scorer now that Nick Young, Chauncey Billups and Randy Foye are free agents.

    Jamal Crawford is one of the better free-agent shooting guards and his veteran leadership would be appreciated in Lob City.

    Crawford would get plenty of touches and could make a big impact with defenses focused on stopping Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

    His outside shooting is the most important factor for L.A., as defenders wouldn't be able to cheat off him when the ball is down in the post with Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

    Plus, getting Crawford would put even more pressure on the rival Los Angeles Lakers.

Phoenix Suns

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    The Phoenix Suns have been planning to make a run at Crawford for quite a while now and he would fill a big hole in the desert at 2-guard (per CSN Northwest's Chris Haynes).

    Phoenix desperately needs backcourt help and Crawford is the type of scorer who could really produce in the fast-paced offense the Suns run. 

    Crawford could put up numbers on par with his early days with the Warriors and Knicks. All he needs is playing time, which is something he could get a lot of in Phoenix.

Miami Heat

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    This may be the most interesting potential landing spot for Crawford.

    The Miami Heat are coming off of an NBA title and could be looking to bolster the team even further with big-name free agents like Crawford, Steve Nash and/or Chris Kaman.

    Crawford would be a welcome addition to a bench unit that needs a proven scorer.

    The Heat are an attractive option because they are coming off of a title and they have a dominant Big Three.

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