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NBA / May 26, 2011 / 11:00 am

Why The Bulls Should Re-Sign Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford

The most common criticism that people have had against the Bulls this season has been their lack of a true scorer outside of Derrick Rose. Never was that more evident than in the last five minutes of regulation and overtime of Game 4, when Rose essentially went one-on-one with a much bigger LeBron James because nobody else on his team could create any shots without his help. The most glaring weakness is at the two guard spot, where the Bulls currently have a flawed three-man rotation there.

Keith Bogans has somehow been the starter for the entire season. He is an excellent defender and fits in well with Tom Thibodeau‘s system but is not a starting caliber shooting guard. Ronnie Brewer is similar to Bogans: an excellent defender, but not a factor on offense. The third member of the shooting guard rotation is Kyle Korver. He is one of the NBA’s best shooters, but if his shot is off, like it has been in the playoffs, he is an absolute non-factor on the court. The Bulls need to add a new member to this rotation, and they should look no further than Jamal Crawford who is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Crawford had the misfortune of playing in Chicago in the immediate aftermath of the Jordan era and was part of some pretty bad teams, but if the Bulls decided to bring him back it would be an excellent signing for them. Crawford has just what the Bulls need: an ability to create his own shot and the confidence to take big shots down the stretch. In this year’s playoffs for the Hawks, the ball was frequently in Crawford’s hands in the final minutes, and he proved over and over that he is a clutch player. He is fearless when it comes to the big moment, and the Bulls need that right now as it appears that everyone not named Rose is too afraid to step up down the stretch – something Crawford could immediately fix.

If the Bulls were to sign Crawford, which is very likely given the current ownership situation in Atlanta (the Atlanta Spirit LLC group reportedly just sold the Atlanta Thrashers, and is losing money on the Hawks), they could form a similar situation to what Oklahoma City has at the two guard spot with Thabo Sefolosha and James Harden. Chicago could have Brewer or Bogans start, bring some defensive energy and intensity, before bringing Crawford in off the bench and having him play the majority of the minutes at the position to provide scoring and playmaking.

The Bulls have a ton of talent, and are an incredibly deep team with a bright future, but the reality is that no Bull can consistently create his own shot. Rose is forced to be a scorer because of that, and if he doesn’t put his teammates in a position to score they likely won’t. Everything in that offense feeds off Rose, and that was never more evident than in Game 4. So while the Bulls’ season is not over yet, Gar Forman and John Paxson should make Crawford priority No. 1 this offseason.

What do you think? Should the Bulls sign Crawford this summer? Where do you think Crawford wants to sign?

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  • BRUCE

    At this point in his career, he will sign with the money! Just don’t pull a Sprewell or Bonzi!

  • Abe504

    I was just talking to a co-worker about the bulls signing him, but Bruce makes a great point

  • heckler

    Jamal Crawford would be the PERFECT addition to the Bulls.
    He has been one of the best NBA players for the last 5-6yrs, but got little respect since his teams (ny knicks, warriors) sucked. He still has the best crossover in the league — yeah I said that shit! …and ITS TRUE; bitches.

    If Jamal Crawford doesnt end up with an offer from the Bulls, then would likely end up either in New Jersey (with Deron), Portland (Roy is a ??) or New Orleans.

  • derik

    Maybe they should go after Brandon Roy… I don’t know how and with what, but just do it

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    Jamal Crawford??? really? really dude? really?

    You do know Thibs will still be the coach right? And Crawford is probably one of the worst bottom 5 defenders in the NBA. In comparison, he makes Kyle Korver looks like Scottie Pippen on defense. We already have Boozer, the last thing we need is Crawford taking terrible shots and not playing D on the other end.

  • Me

    @4:

    tell me that was a joke.

    if you’re a team on the cusp of being a champion, you don’t go after a guy who has a bloated contract and can’t stay on the court.

    matter of fact if you’re ANY team you don’t go after Roy. He should be untradeable (in a bad way.)

  • CasualFan

    List of free agent shooting guards this year:
    I think we should pursue Crawford or Thornton. Experience and youth.
    From:
    http://www.hoopsworld.com/story.asp?story_id=18192

    Ray Allen, Boston Celtics – $10.0 million – Player Option ($10.0 million)
    Jason Richardson, Orlando Magic – $14.4 million – Unrestricted
    Jamal Crawford, Atlanta Hawks – $10.1 million – Unrestricted
    Arron Afflalo, Denver Nuggets – $2.0 million – Restricted ($2.9 million Qualifying Offer)
    Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets – $2.1 million – Restricted ($3.1 million Qualifying Offer)
    Shannon Brown, L.A. Lakers – $2.1 million – Player Option ($2.4 million)
    C.J. Miles, Utah Jazz – $3.7 million – Team Option ($3.7 million)
    J.R. Smith, Denver Nuggets – $6.0 million – Unrestricted
    DeShawn Stevenson, Dallas Mavericks – $4.2 million – Unrestricted
    Mike Dunleavy, Indiana Pacers – $10.6 million – Unrestricted
    Chris Douglas-Roberts, Milwaukee Bucks – $0.9 million – Unrestricted*
    Nick Young, Washington Wizards – $2.6 million – Restricted ($3.7 million Qualifying Offer)
    Sonny Weems, Toronto Raptors – $0.9 million – Unrestricted*
    Mo Evans, Washington Wizards – $2.5 million – Unrestricted
    Daequan Cook, Oklahoma City Thunder – $2.2 million – Restricted ($3.1 million Qualifying Offer)
    Anthony Parker, Cleveland Cavaliers – $2.9 million – Unrestricted
    Eddie House, Miami HEAT – $1.4 million – Player Option ($1.4 million)
    Marquis Daniels, Boston Celtics – $2.5 million – Unrestricted
    Marcus Thornton, Sacramento Kings – $0.8 million – Unrestricted*
    Roger Mason, New York Knicks – $1.4 million – Unrestricted
    Marco Belinelli, New Orleans Hornets – $2.4 million – Restricted ($3.4 million Qualifying Offer)
    Gary Forbes, Denver Nuggets – $0.5 million – Unrestricted*
    Michael Redd, Milwaukee Bucks – $18.3 million – Unrestricted
    Delonte West, Boston Celtics – $1.1 million – Unrestricted
    Stephen Graham, New Jersey Nets – $1.0 million – Team Option ($1.1 million)
    Dominic McGuire, Charlotte Bobcats – $0.9 million – Unrestricted
    Alonzo Gee, Washington Wizards – $0.6 million – Unrestricted*
    Jeremy Lin, Golden State Warriors – $0.5 million – Team Option ($0.8 million)
    Von Wafer, Boston Celtics – $0.9 million – Unrestricted

  • CasualFan

    J.R. Smith can get buckets too.

  • Detroit Dave

    JR Smith would be a good compliment.
    Ben Gordon fits but they don’t want to take on his contract.
    Bring in Chris Douglass Roberts

  • bookkwormmaster

    I think JR Smith would be the best fit for the Bulls. He has the crazy athleticism to run with Rose in the open court, he can be a spot-up shooter cause he’s a helluva shooter or he can be a slasher, and he’s also come along as a solid defender in recent years.

    I also like Marcus Thornton, Aaron Afflalo, and Nick Young for the Bulls as well.

  • http://kilikilishot.blogspot.com Mandirigma

    they had a clutch 2 guard before though but decided to keep the taller, semi-clutch sf.

    if you think about it, the bulls couldve gone with this line-up

    rose-gordon-sefalosha/thomas-boozer-noah

  • bigger_dady

    actually what I was thinking is why cj watson and d-rose were not playing at the same time. D-rose can move to the 2 spot since CJ is a player who can also create his own shot.

  • doc

    Crawford better play some d if he wanna go to chitown

  • komodota

    From here on out, anybody that posts something that involves commenting on a player they did not truly see in their prime during that player’s era/playing days needs to be quiet like a pre-school child and or please state your age so we know where your uninformed foolishness comes from! You may not be old enough to weigh in on the subject matter.

    So as to Jamal Crawford to the Bulls? No brainer. True word – still has the sickest/fastest/slickest cross-over in all of ball. Mad Harlem Globetrotters dribbling skills. Fastest pull-up/release jumpshot this side of Ray Allen. Been in the leauge around 11 years or so. Much more mature than before. Hungry for respect and a ring. NO ONE could double the Bulls up top with Rose and Crawford. Pick your poison, get sick and die! Huge upgrade over Bogans, Brewer and Korver.

    I would recruit him as a team (meaning perhaps Thibs and Rose together). Thibs to say “Jamal, I can help teach/make you into a more complete player” and use the stifling defense of Wade and LeBron as examples of scorers becoming even more feared and dangerous when they also play D. Rose to say, “come play here and together we will be the most feared backcourt in the NBA and win Rings”.

    I could go on, but Crawford to Bulls. A slam dunk! (Read Rick Telander’s column in the Friday Sun Times. Rick pulls NO punches on slamming selfish new -school players. I took note that he pays a pretty nice compliment to Jamal.)

    DIRK – GO TO WORK!!

  • iCARNACKi

    I think both JR Smith and Arron Afflalo would be far better signings. AA is a good defender and 3 point shooter and JR ‘can’ be a good defender, can create his own shot and fits with Rose better.

    Both will be cheaper than Crawford will be, he will sign with the highest bidder and why shouldn’t he.

    Thornton is too small and will re-sign with Sacramento I’d imagine.