The Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards are expected to be among the chief suitors for Jamal Crawford once he reaches a buyout with the Atlanta Hawks, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN.
Spears also reported the Los Angeles Lakers, previously linked to Crawford, have bowed out of the running.
According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, Crawford spoke to LeBron James and is "very interested" in joining the Cavaliers.
The Los Angeles Clippers agreed to trade Crawford to the Hawks as part of a three-team deal with the Denver Nuggets and Hawks, which sent Danilo Gallinari to Los Angeles and Paul Millsap to Denver.
Crawford, 37, is due $14.2 million in 2017-18 and has $3 million guaranteed in his contract for 2018-19. He averaged 12.3 points and 2.6 assists while playing in all 82 games for the first time in his career last season. The 17-year veteran spent the previous five seasons with the Clippers.
Because of his contract status, Crawford will essentially have his choice of destinations in free agency. The Cavaliers offer instant championship contention and a role off the bench but likely wouldn't offer much more than the veteran's minimum.
The Wizards are in a similarly capped out situation and have a less clear path to contention, but they could give him more of a defined role. Washington could use scoring help off the bench behind Bradley Beal and might wind up with an even more minutes should it choose to not match Otto Porter's offer sheet.
The Timberwolves provide the most potential money and need shooting, but they're probably not much more than a No. 7 or 8 seed in the daunting Western Conference.