Hawks' Jamal Crawford Leaves Agency, Could Eye Return To Knicks, According To Report

Atlanta Hawks free agent guard Jamal Crawford has left Goodwin Sports Management, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, and may be very interested in leaving Atlanta to return to the New York Knicks once the NBA lockout ends.

Isola quotes Crawford as saying "Why not?" when asked in November about the possibility of re-joining the Knicks, for whom he played 299 games over four-plus seasons. (It's worth noting that he said "I love Atlanta" in the same interview.) New York traded him to the Golden State Warriors during the 2008/09 in order to clear salary-cap space for the summer of 2010.

The Hawks acquired Crawford cheaply prior to the 2009/10 season, sending only Speedy Claxton and Acie Law IV to Golden State to get him, and he rewarded them with the finest season of his career, which earned him Sixth Man of the Year honors. Though his scoring and field-goal percentage dipped last season, he came up big for Atlanta in the postseason, particularly in their first-round upset of the Orlando Magic. Crawford averaged 20.5 points in that series, including the clinching three-pointer in the Hawks' Game 3 victory, which gave Atlanta a 2-1 series lead.

Despite Crawford's mostly successful Hawks career to date, Kris Willis of Peachtree Hoops wouldn't be terribly upset if he walked in free agency. "I don't see the need to commit more money to another shooting guard long term," he writes, noting the Hawks already employ Joe Johnson, Kirk Hinrich, and Jeff Teague. Moreover, Crawford's skills--chiefly volume shot-creation off the dribble--don't fit as well with the Hawks' offense under coach Larry Drew than they did under Mike Woodson.

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