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NBA Free Agents 2012: Jamal Crawford Is Better Option Than Ray Allen in Boston

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Jamal Crawford #11 of the Portland Trail Blazers scores on a layup past Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half at Staples Center on February 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 103-92.  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 Harry How/Getty Images)
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Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2012

Ray Allen's future in Boston is uncertain, and the Celtics have, at least, one contingency plan in place.

According to Chris Haynes of csnnw.com, Danny Ainge and the Boston brass are one of the teams chasing Jamal Crawford. Crawford opted out of his final year with Portland and is fielding offers. 

The Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, and Indiana Pacers were the teams to contact unrestricted free agent Jamal Crawford as soon as July 1 hit, according to a person very close to the situation.

Crawford can score without a doubt. Last year, he averaged 14 points per game coming off the Trail Blazers' bench. He tends to have a poor shot selection, but that could change with the Celtics. I can't see Kevin Garnett allowing Crawford to rain shots left and right. 

Boston will need offense next season, especially if Allen decides to bolt in free agency. Crawford isn't young (32), but he's a capable option for the coming years. He hasn't played next to a passing point guard like Rajon Rondo, and his numbers could jump because of it. 

At this point, I would argue that Crawford is a better option than Allen. He isn't an elite shooter like Allen, but his age and versatility work in his favor. Allen looked very old through Boston's playoff run this year, and his days appear to be numbered.

At best, Allen appears to be a viable bench option at this point in his career.

Crawford isn't a perfect option, but the Celtics need something next season. Their success will ride on how many points they are able to score, and scoring will require a shooter.

Boston has the cap room necessary to add a player like Crawford, and his high-volume style would give the Celtic offense an added boost. He would excel next to Rondo in transition and would complement Avery Bradley as the team's other shooting guard. 

There are sexier options on the free agent market, but Boston should do everything they can to make sure Crawford is playing in Beantown next season.

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