Jamal Crawford to Opt-Out of Contract and Jimmy Butler Wants Him Back
So there was some big time breaking Timberwolves news this evening:
ESPN Sources: Minnesota guard Jamal Crawford to decline player option to become an unrestricted free agent. https://t.co/JTUFuPXe9n
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 2, 2018
In my personal opinion, Jamal Crawford makes this team better overall. He is a shining star in the locker room, from all accounts. And, when you need that guy to stop a run, quiet a road crowd, ignite a home crowd, hit an end-of-quarter dagger, or take someone one-on-one, you can always give the ball to Jamal.
However, Crawford comes with his downfalls. Well, one glaring one. His defense. He’s bad. His defensive rating is among the worst in the NBA. No, seriously. Like, 533rd out of 540 players recorded at NBA.com… His Defensive Win Share rating is even worse, landing in 537th place… So, some of the analytical minds out there aren’t asking for Jamal back.
Nonetheless, there is one person who reportedly wants Jamal Crawford back in a Timberwolves’ uniform.
That man’s name is Jimmy Butler. And what Jimmy Butler wants, I want.
Jimmy Butler has stressed to management that he wants Crawford to remain in Minnesota, sources say. https://t.co/Z9ziqbFSTf
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 2, 2018
Wow, well that made for something to talk about over the next couple of days, as we lead into the weekend. There was one thing that immediately came to mind with when I saw this curveball, following the Crawford news:
GIVE JIMMY BUTLER WHATEVER HE WANTS.
First, we need to remember that Butler has some options coming up with his contract. There are some decisions that will be made, before a 2018-19 shot is attempted, that will give us a VERY good idea of what is going through Jimmy’s head when it comes to his future. Butler’s contract isn’t due until after this next season (he still has a player option for 2019-20 but that doesn’t matter with this conversation) so he will likely be in a Wolves uniform next season no matter how things play out this summer.
However, he CAN sign his max-veteran extension with the team BEFORE the season begins. That’s what we saw from Andrew Wiggins last offseason and I would expect that from both KAT and Butler this offseason. Obviously, from the player’s prospective, you want to sign it before the season because if an injury occurs, all bets are off.
In other words, if Jimmy doesn’t sign an extension this summer, well…. that would be a HUGE risk on his part AND a HARD sign of his plans when his contract does eventually expire. If you know you want to be a Timberwolf, you guarantee your HUGE payday by signing on the dotted line of that 5-year max-extension AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
So if Jimmy Butler hasn’t signed his extension by season tipoff…
If Jimmy wants Jamal back then get Jamal back. If Jimmy wants Thibs to be his coach then Thibs is currently my favorite coach in the league. If Jimmy wants Andrew Wiggins traded or retained then you do whatever he tells you. If Jimmy Butler wants a karaoke bar in the players lounge at Target Center then, YOU GET HIM A KARAOKE SET AT TARGET CENTER.
T-Pain was headlining at PRYSM in Chicago last night, it was Jimmy Butler who stole the show though with his rendition of Mario’s smash hit Let Me Love You. pic.twitter.com/AGklNLVBT3
— Adam Warlock (@Howsito) May 1, 2018
If Jimmy Butler jumps ship then we are left with Karl Towns and Andrew Wiggins with still VERY LITTLE additional dollars to spend in free agency after 2018-19. Because of Bird Rights, we are able to retain all three players even if it means going above the salary cap to make it happen. Glen Taylor will start paying a hefty luxury tax for them but that’s on him. Not for me to worry about.
Wiggins and Towns on huge contracts aren’t going to be enough to bring a title back to Minnesota. It won’t be enough to even get close.
So, we better do whatever we can to make Jimmy Butler happy (and that includes laying off of his coach). I’ll hear all arguments on how to improve after the season, if Thibs & Co. still can’t get it done. But, let’s wait until those guys are locked into long-term deals and buying houses on Lake Minnetonka.
Until then: unless you have something nice to say, do Minnesota a favor, and say nothing (or tweet nothing) at all.