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Jamal Crawford Free Agency Rumors: Eight Teams Have Already Contacted Hawks Guard

Since NBA teams were allowed to begin contacting player agents Wednesday, eight teams have reportedly contacted Atlanta Hawks free agent Jamal Crawford:

A number of teams made calls to Crawford’s camp on Wednesday including the New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers, according to sources close to the situation.

Crawford, who won the 2010 Sixth Man of the Year Award in Atlanta, is one of the most attractive free agents in a relatively weak class. The 6'5 200 shooting guard has averaged 15.4 points a game in his 11-year career and is still only 31 years old.

His ability to create shots off the dribble makes him an attractive target for teams looking to upgrade their bench scoring, while his defensive versatility allows him to slip into almost any NBA teams' rotation.

The big question surrounding Crawford, whose already made over $60 million in his NBA career, is what type of contract he'll receive.

If teams offer him the mid-level exception of around $5 million a season, the Hawks, who already have over $65 million committed to only 9 players for the 2011-2012 season, will have difficulty matching it.

The luxury tax threshold is expected to be around $70 million, and Atlanta's ownership group, which has been actively shopping the franchise, seems unlikely to accept making luxury tax payments for a team still firmly below Chicago and Miami in the Eastern Conference pecking order.

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