Chicago Bulls: Should the Bulls consider signing Jamal Crawford?

(Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls wrap up an interesting free agency this summer after signing a trio of new players and re-signing another one. Thaddeus Young, Tomáš Satoranský, Luke Kornet, and Shaq Harrison were all brought in on new contracts. With the preseason starting next month, should the Bulls consider signing Jamal Crawford for veteran leadership and offense off the bench?

Jamal Crawford remains a free agent after finishing his 19th season in the NBA. In his one season with the Phoenix Suns, Crawford averaged 7.9 points per game and 3.6 assists in 64 games for the Phoenix Suns last season. At 39 years old, Crawford played his lowest minute (18.0) total since his rookie year (17.2) in 2000-01 with the Chicago Bulls.

The three-time Sixth Man of the Year (2010, 14, 16) started his career in Chicago, playing 244 games for the Bulls from 2000-04. In his four seasons, his stats increased every season with the Bulls but was never able to make a playoff appearance. He averaged 17.3 points per game, 5.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 35.1 minutes in 80 games. Starting 73 games with Chicago in 2003-04, the Bulls went 23-59 in Scottie Pippen‘s last year in the league.

The Bulls had a very young roster excluding Pippen during that era. Crawford was one of the younger draft picks and during those four seasons, Chicago had Jay Williams, Kirk Hinrich, Tyson Chandler, and free agent Jalen Rose. Ex-Bull Bill Cartwright was fired halfway through Crawford’s final season and the Bulls decided to blow up the roster including trading the 23-year-old Crawford before the 2004-05 season.

Crawford was traded, along with Jerome Williams, to the New York Knicks in exchange for Dikembe MutomboOthella HarringtonFrank Williams, and Cezary Trybanski. A trade that worked out for the Knicks more than the Bulls. What else is new?

Jumping forward to 2019-20 season, Crawford is still around and still making an impact whether with his spotty minutes off the bench, veteran leadership, legendary handles, or mentorship of younger players on the roster. He remains one of the best ball-handlers and shooters in the NBA, and even at 39-years-old, he can still provide one-year off the bench to a contender like the Clippers, Lakers or Warriors or assist with the mentorship of a younger team like the Bulls, Suns, or Hawks.

The Bulls head into the season pretty content with their roster, but adding Crawford for the veteran minimum should certainly be something to consider. Here’s a look at the Bulls predicted lineup to start the season. It’s hard to say whether Coby White will start over Kris Dunn, but to play it safe and give Dunn the benefit of the doubt, we will put him in the starting lineup along with the four starters we are 100-percent sure of.

Starting Lineup

Kris Dunn – 25-years-old

Zach LaVine – 24-years-old

Otto Porter Jr. – 26-years-old

Lauri Markkannen – 22-years-old

Wendell Carter Jr. – 20-years-old

The Chicago Bulls starting lineup is solid. Sure, at some point Coby White is going to take Kris Dunn’s job. We just don’t know if it’ll be the first month of the season, the second, or after the trade deadline. Every player in the lineup will be 26 or younger, making the Bulls’ probable starting lineup one of the youngest in the NBA for a second-straight season.

The average age for the team is 24.1-years-old. That’s second only behind the Atlanta Hawks (23.9). Chicago has a great young core unit if you ask me, the bench could use more depth and a scorer like Crawford would be a great fit for quick offense on a team that finished 27th in points per game (104.9).

Bench Lineup

Coby White/Ryan Arcidicacono

Tomáš Satoranský/Shaq Harrison/Antonio Blakeney

Denzel Valentine/Chandler Hutchinson

Thaddeus Young/Daniel Gafford

Cristiano Felicio/Daniel Gafford/Luke Kornet

Adding Jamal Crawford as the backup shooting guard along with Tomáš Satoranský and Shaq Harrison with alleviating the stress of relying on those two along with Dunn and Ryan Arcidicaono to be consistent night in and night out. With Crawford, you know what you’re getting off the bench and you know what he contributes to your locker room.

Crawford signed a one-year $2,393,887 fully guaranteed deal with the Suns last season. That deal was the veteran minimum for an NBA player with 10-plus years of experience and likely will be the only offer he gets this season if any. Every team except the Hawks are over the cap and appear willing to pay the luxury tax. The Bulls sit at $-4,113,864 in cap space, the lowest in the league besides the Hawks $5,506,276 in space left.

With most teams only being able to afford veteran minimums and extensions, Crawford will have to take the first opportunity given to him after a season of no real success with the Suns besides proving he can still compete at the highest level close to 40-years-old.

Next. Predicting players stats in 2019-20. dark

Crawford can contribute another successful season or two before retiring. Ending his NBA career with Chicago where he started, would be a cool way to go out for the future Hall of Famer.

Unfortunately, It’s not up to him whether he will be able to.