Jamal Crawford reportedly will decline his player option and become a free agent after one season with the Timberwolves. The 38-year-old veteran guard signed a two-year, $9 million deal last offseason and was a good fit for the Wolves this season as they worked to establish credibility and leaned heavily on veterans. Advanced stats aside, I don't think the Wolves would have made the playoffs without Crawford's contributions.
But … those advanced stats still tell a story that also leads me to this conclusion: His departure might be the best thing for both Crawford and the Wolves.
In short, he's not really the kind of bench wing that thrives in the modern NBA. The best NBA benches now are stocked with guys who shoot a higher percentage from three-point range than Crawford (33.1 percent last year), play lockdown defense or — ideally — do both as a "three-and-D" wing player.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org