In response to Jamal Crawford’s reported desire to receive a contract extension or a trade, we find the blogosphere split. Kris Willis of SB Nation’s Peachtree Hoops, for one, is simply disappointed:
It’s sad because the Hawks have been intent on keeping the core together in hopes that any improvement will come from within. Now they may be forced to reshuffle that core that they were so intent on protecting.
Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie, meanwhile, understands Crawford’s frustration and encourages him to seek a trade from Atlanta:
A full season with a new team would allow for that new team – provided some approximation of the current salary cap rules carry over to the next Collective Bargaining Agreement – to go over the salary cap limit to re-sign him after this deal expires. And Crawford – a one-dimensional player who would be 31 at the time of his free agency – doesn’t want to be seeking out a new deal amongst what few teams have salary cap space next summer.
Bret LaGree of Hoopinion says neither Crawford nor the Hawks will be happy with any of the potential outcomes:
Unfortunately for the 30-year-old Crawford, he woefully lacks the leverage with his current employer that either [Chris Paul] or [Carmelo Anthony] possesses.
The Hawks aren’t in a much better position. Extending Crawford would be the lone (non-injury) way to make the Joe Johnson contract seem worse and, given their overall financial situation, appears wildly unlikely to occur. Furthermore, unlike the Hornets or Nuggets, the Hawks can’t expect to get much in a trade for Crawford.
It’s hard to say how this situation will play out, though it seems unlikely that Crawford will finish the season in a Hawks uniform. Keep checking this StoryStream for more updates as they become available.