Jamal Crawford: Advantages to Signing with the Portland Trail Blazers

Cody CurrieCorrespondent IIDecember 19, 2011

Free agent guard Jamal Crawford signed with the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday (via the Los Angeles Times).

Yahoo Sports reports the deal is worth $10 million over two years, with the second year being a player-option.  

Crawford adds explosiveness to the Blazers' offense and helps ease the loss of the recently retired and amnestied Brandon Roy.  He won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 2009-10 and will likely fill that role for the Blazers.  

Crawford can handle the ball and is a terrific scorer.  He doesn't mind coming off the bench, and he can run the point guard position while Raymond Felton is resting.  He averaged 14.2 ppg last season—down from the previous season—but still put up solid numbers for a sixth man.  

He is can be extremely effective when the Blazers go small: He can push the ball and make plays in the open court.  

Felton, Crawford, Wes Matthews, Gerald Wallace and LaMarcus Aldridge could create serious matchup problems for opposing teams, and be a very effective offensive lineup.  Crawford and Wallace are highlight reels waiting to happen, and it will be fun to see what this offense can do on the fast-break.

This signing is a win-win for the Blazers—they can use him as a starter or sixth man, and he provides instant offense in whatever role he plays.  They risk almost nothing because it is a short-term deal and he instantly improves the offense.  

The reward is almost limitless if he becomes a major-minute player and keeps the offense running smoothly and effectively.  This move easily improves the Blazers and can potentially help the them make a deeper postseason run than the past few seasons.  

The Blazers will be an exciting team to watch this season.