The Minnesota Timberwolves have been very active this offseason. From addressing their many needs for star power in adding Butler, one final issue they’ve been working to resolve has to do in part with their bench. Yet for the Cleveland Cavaliers, they never chose their role players wisely.
On Saturday, 37-year-old Jamal Crawford signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves for two years, $8.9 million, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.
Sources: Crawford plans to sign with Minnesota on a two-year, $8.9M deal, with second year player option, once he clears waivers. https://t.co/q8kfKfQLXW
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 8, 2017
Crawford, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year, averaged 12.3 points per game last season with the Los Angeles Clippers and showed the league why he is still one of the most lethal offensive weapons off the bench with his flashy handles and a natural knack for scoring.
For the Timberwolves, signing Crawford is the icing on the cake for what has been a huge checklist this offseason. After the Timberwolves constructed a playoff-worthy starting lineup through the draft day trade for Jimmy Butler and the signing of Jeff Teague, they were missing a player off the bench that could provide the second unit with a spark. Despite Crawford’s age, he’s a fit regardless for Thibodeau’s second unit, who was dead last in bench points last season, averaging only 22.8 points.
Minnesota wasn’t the only team that was on Crawford’s radar, as the Cleveland Cavaliers also showed interest in signing Crawford. There were reports saying Crawford was speaking with LeBron James before he made his decision.
The talks with James got Crawford on the same page with Cleveland, but due to salary constrictions, the team couldn’t offer him the full Mid Level Exception (MLE) worth $5.2 million. However, Cleveland.com reported they wanted to sign Turkish forward Osman.
Cleveland owns the NBA rights to the Turkish forward Osman, and to add him to the team this season needed to be able to pay him more than the $816,000 minimum salary for a rookie.
Osman average 7.1 points in Euroleague play this season.
Crawford’s addition is certainly welcomed for a team with high playoff hopes, but what elevates the Timberwolves’ even more is his veteran playoff experience.