LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves were in desperate need of a scorer off the bench. Jamal Crawford has made a living doing just that.
Crawford reached agreement with the Timberwolves on a two-year deal Saturday, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he cannot be signed until he clears waivers.
The cap-strapped Wolves only had the room exception left to use for the deal, worth about $4.2 million for the upcoming season. The second year is a player option.
The 37-year-old Crawford averaged 12.3 points in 82 games for the Clippers last season. He was traded to Atlanta to help make room for Danilo Gallinari and reached a buyout agreement with the Hawks.
It continues an aggressive summer for the Timberwolves and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau, who acquired three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler in a trade with the Chicago Bulls, signed free agent point guard Jeff Teague and veteran forward Taj Gibson to remake a roster that won just 31 games last season.
The flurry of activity left the Wolves with an imposing starting five, but very little off the bench on the wings behind Butler and Andrew Wiggins.
Crawford has long been one of the league’s microwave men — a player who can come off the bench cold and warm up quickly. He has won the NBA’s sixth man of the year award three times, most recently in 2015-16.
His scoring average last season was the lowest since 2002-03 and he is a career 35 percent shooter from 3-point range. So the Wolves still have some holes to fill with a roster that now has 11 players. They have almost no cap room left to sign free agents, so the remaining deals will either have to be for the veteran’s minimum or via trades.
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