Jamal Crawford Reportedly to Decline Timberwolves Contract Option, Hit FA

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2018

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford (11) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 100-96. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Jamal Crawford will be a free agent for the second time in as many summers.

According to ESPN.com's Chris Haynes, Crawford plans to decline his $4.5 million player option for the 2018-19 season and become an unrestricted free agent.  

Crawford joined the Timberwolves on a two-year, $8.8 million deal last summer, and he instantly filled the team's need for a veteran volume scorer off the bench. 

In 80 appearances, the league's only three-time Sixth Man of the Year Award winner averaged 10.3 points on 41.5 percent shooting from the field, including 33.1 percent shooting from three. 

However, Crawford had to adjust to a reduced role. 

With head coach Tom Thibodeau opting to play all five of his regular starters at least 33 minutes a game, Crawford watched his playing time dwindle to an average of 20.7 minutes—the lowest mark since his rookie season in 2000-01. 

"It's a difficult challenge," Crawford said in December, according to the St. Paul Pioneer PressJace Frederick

"If you're not out there that much, then you kind of have to make something happen. So it's a balance I'm trying to figure out."

Now 38 years old, Crawford may find that playing time generally hovers around 20 minutes per game moving forward—especially if he lands with a title contender. 

But even so, his ability to break defenders down off the dribble and generate bail-out buckets late in the shot clock should continue to make him a sought-after target on the open market. 

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