The Sixers did not have the huge offseason that everybody expected from them. In their quest for a star, the Sixers missed out on both LeBron James and Paul George in free agency and could not complete a trade for two-way superstar forward Kawhi Leonard.
However, they re-signed J.J. Redick to a one-year deal, acquired forward Wilson Chandler in a trade from Denver, completed a three-team trade for big man Mike Muscala, and dealt Richaun Holmes to the Phoenix Suns, opening up a roster spot for rookie Jonah Bolden.
Despite these moves by the Sixers, they still could use another scorer off the bench. Could that extra scorer be Jamal Crawford?
Reigning Rookie of the Year award winner and Sixers point guard Ben Simmons thinks so.
When asked about the idea of Crawford coming to Philadelphia, Simmons told Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Scoop B Radio on Wednesday that “he needs to come through.”
This is not the first time that we heard about the Sixers-Crawford connection. Back in July, Keith Pompey of Philly.com reported that the Sixers expressed some interest in signing Crawford during free agency.
Earlier this month, Crawford joined Robinson on Scoop B Radio and spoke at length about his love for the city of Philadelphia and how it would be an honor to play for the Sixers this upcoming season.
“I think for me, especially being out there as a free-agent, something could work out,” he said (h/t Amico Hoops). “I would be honored to play there, but things obviously have to take its course and I kind of got to sit back, but who wouldn’t want to play there?”
“I like their city. I like how into it they are about basketball. I like their knowledge of basketball, how passionate they are. I’ve always loved coach Brett Brown. I’ve been on record. I’ve been a fan of his for years. He just needed talent, and now he has that. He added Ben Simmons, I love his game. I love Jojo [Joel Embiid]. They’re both among my favorite players in the league to watch. Markelle [Fultz] is like a little brother to me. Obviously, he went to the University of Washington, and we talk every other day. J.J. Redick is like a brother to me, we’ve been through wars together, so there’s so many things to love about Philadelphia for sure.”
It is obvious that Crawford wants to join the Sixers and who would blame him. The Sixers had a tremendous season last year and are only going to get better this season. Add in a healthy Fultz to go with Embiid, Simmons, and Dario Saric, and they will be a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference.
Last season with Minnesota, Crawford averaged 10.3 points, shot 41.5 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from three-point range. 2017 was not one of Crawford’s best seasons to date as he only played 20.7 minutes per game.
The last time Crawford averaged at least 20 minutes a game, you have to go back to his second season in the NBA. Nevertheless, it is still puzzling to see a scorer like Crawford still on the free agency market, especially with Vince Carter recently joining the Atlanta Hawks.
But as we get closer to the start of training camp, a team will likely take a chance on the veteran and maybe it will be the Sixers who do have one roster spot open.