Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers ready to gamble on Jamal Crawford having anything left

Are the Philadelphia 76ers really going to be the next team in a long line of good teams to get duped into signing Jamal Crawford?

Earlier today, Brandon Robinson reported that Jamal Crawford would sign with the Philadelphia 76ers if they can trade or buy out Jerryd Bayless.

That will make them the third team in three years to go into the season expecting to be a playoff contender and then choose, for some unknown reason, to sign Jamal Crawford.

Crawford, a former perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate, is no longer an NBA-caliber player at the age of 38. He is three years removed from his last season at replacement level, according to box plus-minus.

He is eight years removed from his last season that was clearly above league average according to the same. His defense, which has never been even league average, has long since hit the level that basically can’t be put on the court.

His offense, which at one point was explosive enough to sort of justify his defense, is now mostly rife with bad decision-making and ill-advised turnovers.

He’s still good to win you one or two games a year because he just randomly goes off for 24 points on a reasonably efficient 18 shots, but more often than not, teams get worse for having him.

And yet the 76ers, like the Clippers (who re-signed him in 2016 after a 53-29 season) and the Timberwolves (who signed him after he was bought out of the contract with the Clippers and proceeded to a 47-35 season), are yet another team that has hopes of being good that elected to sign Crawford.

Crawford does have a strong reputation as one of the best pros in the NBA. He’s widely regarded as a good teammate and hard worker; one of the best guys on whom young players can model their between-games routine.

That could justify bringing in Crawford, even if he doesn’t see any real rotational minutes.

Maybe the 76ers have figured out that Crawford doesn’t need to play to have a positive impact on the club. Maybe they don’t intend him as anything more than a mentor to their young team.

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But if this plays out like his last two stops in L.A. and Minnesota, then the 76ers will end up giving Crawford minutes. In the process, that places an entirely unfounded bet on Crawford having something left in the tank.

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