Jamal Crawford Says He "Needs to Be Here in Phoenix"

Would Jamal Crawford be enough to keep Steve Nash in Phoenix?

Though this rosterbation may be a bit premature since the Phoenix Suns find themselves smack-dab in the middle of an intense run to claim a spot in the Playoffs, this post is deserving given Jamal Crawford's comments during the final quarter of last night's game against the Portland Trailblazers

Here's ALL that we know for sure (*remember that bold word), from Arizona Sports 620's Jon Bloom last nigh:

Let's get into this after the jump.

My first thought was almost one of relief. For years the Phoenix Suns front office has been telling it's fan-base that they are positioning the organization to make big moves next year and to primarily improve the roster through Free Agency. I'm not sure if it's just a reigning sentiment here among Bright Siders or if it is a common feeling among all Suns fans, but for many of us, that promise didn't (or doesn't) compute.

It would seem that under the nebulous shadow of volatility that is the reputation of Robert Sarver, grouped with the aged aging centerpiece of Steve Nash, the lack of the 'player-friendly practices' hosted by D'Antoni (a selling-point years ago) and the absence of an innovative style (the 'Run and Gun' catches no one by surprise anymore - and in fact it is used by many younger and faster teams around the league more effectively than the Suns nowadays), why would any All-Star quality players elect to come to the Valley of Mediocrity?

The comments of Crawford should help to somewhat dispel these types of sentiments - or at least water them down. Why? Because there is appeal in coming to Phoenix. Let's list the obvious:

  • The magical training staff
  • A player-friendly coaching staff
  • Steve Nash (still a boss)
  • The great weather
  • Opportunity
  • Scottsdale
  • Gun Laws
If there is anything else you can think of, let me know in the comments section. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the main thing that free agents see in Phoenix (and this is in large part because of Steve Nash and Grant Hill), is the consistent ability to build and maintain team-chemistry. Our own Seth Pollack tweeted last night,

Why would he tweet something like this? Because year after year here in Arizona this mystical 'team chemistry' thing builds and pushes unlikely teams to do great things. Kurt Warner, the STAT-less Western Conference Finals run also known as 'The Last Time Boris Diaw Ever Did Anything-run' (Sorry Seth, had to go there), the recent playoff runs of the Arizona Diamondbacks and their "Grit-Chemistry-Philosophy," the Phoenix Coyotes led by the best captain in the NHL Shane Doan and their playoff runs, the championships of the Phoenix Mercury, the Suns' improbable sweep of the Spurs and WCF run at the Lakers of two years ago ... and I'm sure the list could go on.

There is something about Phoenix.

Well, back to the present and at least there is enough about Phoenix going on to draw the attention of Jamal Crawford. Here are the details: Crawford signed a two-year deal, but next year he has a player option (5M). The feeling expressed by many (and we can add Jamal to that) is that he will indeed opt out of that 2nd year and test free agency.

Crawford is a legitimate option for the Phoenix Suns at the two-guard and would be a great fit for a Steve Nash-centric offense. He can spread the floor with his range and he can occasionally (or TOO frequently if asked Blazer fans this year) relieve Nash of his play-making load by creating his own shot.

He is a bit on the older side at 32 - and has suffered some nagging injuries this year (knee, groin) - but I'm sure that plays in his plea to come to Phoenix where Grant and Steve and Michael Redd have all provided an inspired example of what our training staff here can do for players.

And what - if anything - is there to make of the last part of Bloom's tweet, that Crawford openly said this with his current teammates close by?

What do you think Bright Siders? Is Crawford worth it? Is a two-guard combo of Shannon Brown and Jamal Crawford a step in the right direction?

Here's what's popping up in the news today after Jon Bloom's tweet last night.

Jamal Crawford has eyes for Phoenix? - ArizonaSports.com
While it's impossible to determine what Crawford really meant with this statement, it's worth noting that the well-traveled scorer would probably be a solid fit in Phoenix, especially if Steve Nash departs via free agency.

Jamal Crawford Wants To Be On Phoenix Suns? - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Was it a reaction to the team situation or is it something more? Was it a joke? After all, he might not even have meant being here to play for the Suns. Maybe it was lamenting the Oregon weather and wishing he lived here. It is an awfully nice place to live right now. We like the sun. We all know that the ladies here are something else. Maybe it was that.

AND THEN YOU HAVE THIS SPIN ON THE STORY - So apparently after Jon Bloom's tweet, CSNNW's Chris Haynes (Blazer beat writer) reportedly has a "source" with the Suns that says it is the SUNS who are after Crawford and have him number one (after Steve Nash) on their wish-list ... I don't know, but if you ask me, this sounds like an agent trying to cover up the careless comments of his client in an attempt to regain Jamal's market leverage.

Source: Suns will pursue G Jamal Crawford
Chris Haynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazers Insider (@ChrisBHaynes) Portland Trail Blazers guard Jamal Crawford will be courted intensely by the Phoenix Suns, a source within the organization tells CSNNW.com.

Source: Suns to Pursue Jamal Crawford | HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors
Portland Trail Blazers guard Jamal Crawford will be courted intensely by the Phoenix Suns, a source within the organization tells CSNNW.com. "Aside from Steve (Nash), he’s (Crawford) high if not the top free agent priority on their list," the source said. "He would fill a need at the two-guard position and he knows they want him."

Report: Suns to go hard after Jamal Crawford this summer | ProBasketballTalk
Would the addition of Jamal Crawford be enough to keep Steve Nash in Phoenix? We may find out as acquiring Crawford seems to be high on the Suns priority list

What do you guys make of all this?

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