Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld is reporting that the Timberwolves are making a serious late push to acquire Crawford at the trade deadline.
A little late, Kahn. At the beginning of the free agency period, I handpicked Jamal Crawford as being a great fit for the Wolves’ 2-guard spot (Starter OR Sixth man). Unfortunately, he signed with Portland for 2 years, $5 mil a year with the second year being a player option.
But now with such a flexible contract, Crawford still can fill the Wolves’ need of an outside shooting presence and someone who can create for themselves that’s not named Michael Beasley. The cost to get Crawford is up in the air at this point but most fingers are pointing in Luke Ridnour’s general direction.
Ridnour has spent the bulk of the season starting alongside Ricky Rubio to form a short backcourt with glaring defensive liabilities. Although Ridnour provides a spark offensively with his effective mid-range jumper and also gives Rubio a break from handling the ball every possession, there’s no overlooking him as a defensive liability. Being the veteran he is, he helps in timeout huddles and makes educated in-game adjustments.
The move just makes almost too much sense. Ridnour has a connection with Blazers head coach Nate McMillan. Crawford has publicly praised Rick Adelman and his offensive philosophies. Ridnour brings the Blazers a sound point guard option while Raymond Felton continues to struggle. Crawford fills in the empty 2-guard spot for the Wolves, where point guards have had to fill the void, creating giant defensive liabilities. Ridnour’s three-point shooting, despite being down this year, will still help one of the league’s worst three-point shooting teams. Crawford also brings shooting to the Wolves but especially gives them a gut-check scorer who can heat up at will at any given moment.
I can go on and on about all of the benefits that Ridnour brings the Wolves but the fact of the matter is that he is the team’s best trade bait, and he gives them the chance to upgrade at a spot where they desperately need a boost. This seems like a bittersweet no-brainer to me, if true.