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Why Jamal Crawford's Trade Request Is An Issue

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Yesterday, the news broke that Jamal Crawford will demand a trade if his contract is not extended.  This is a classic example of a player attempting to apply what some leverage he has in order to see his demands met.  The good news for Hawks fans is that Crawford really doesn't have that much leverage.  Yes, he did with the sixth man of the year award last season, but the Hawks just gave a huge contract to another shooting guard and drafted a viable replacement for Crawford this offseason.  With Horford facing restricted free agency next offseason, the Hawks shouldn't be willing to give out more big money to yet another shooting guard at the risk of losing one of the leagues top 5 centers.


What makes this a bit more difficult is that the Hawks' leverage has now been undermined.  Coming off an award winning season and a career year in many respects, trading Jamal wouldn't normally have been a problem-and his $10 million coming off the books after this season is a trade chip as well.  That sort of value can often bring back some solid talent and a draft pick.  However, if it's known that the Hawks are forced to make a move to get rid of a distraction, their trade leverage goes in the toilet.  They are much less likely to refuse a trade even if the right deal isn't made.  Plus, given recent evidence, it wouldn't be terribly surprising to see the Hawks' front office capitulate to Crawford's demands for an extension-a clear mistake, but one that's very easy to imagine.


Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.