Jamal Crawford has agreed to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves after he clears waivers on Monday, sources told ESPN on Saturday.
The deal is for two years and $9 million and includes a second-year player option, sources said.
Crawford reached a buyout agreement with the Atlanta Hawks on Friday after he was acquired from the LA Clippers via a trade.
A number of teams were interested in Crawford, but the Wolves presented a large role as they try to end a 13-year playoff drought. He joins a major influx of veteran talent to Minnesota this summer following a trade for Jimmy Butler and the signings of Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague.
Tom Thibodeau, Minnesota’s president of basketball operations and coach, thinks Crawford will work well with the Wolves.
“Obviously, nothing is final yet. We’re hopeful to get a guy like that, and if we’re fortunate to get a guy like Jamal, I think he has been Sixth Man in the league three times since 2010, that explosive-type scorer who can come off the bench, put a lot of pressure on people, and his veteran experience and the fact that he has been around and been in a lot of big games,” Thibodeau told SiriusXM. “I think we all know what he is. I love his passion for the game, and if we were fortunate enough to get him, he’d be a great fit for us.”
Crawford had to give up some previously guaranteed money in securing the buyout, and salary was a factor in choosing a new team, sources said.
The Wolves are just below the salary cap but have their $4.3 million “room mid-level exception” they can use in whole or part on Crawford.
Crawford had a strong interest in playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Cavs never made a formal offer, sources said. Cleveland is already facing a $47 million luxury tax bill for next season and has been in talks with 2015 draft pick Cedi Osman on coming over from the Turkish League.
There was also mutual interest between Crawford and the Los Angeles Lakers, sources said. The Lakers hesitated, however, as they pursued Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who became an unrestricted free agent on Friday, sources said. It allowed Minnesota to seal deal.
Crawford, who is about to enter his 18th season, averaged 12.3 points and shot 36 percent from 3-point range in 82 games for the Clippers last season. A three-time winner of the Sixth Man of the Year award, he has averaged 14.7 PPG off the bench the past five seasons with the Clippers, scoring over 900 bench points more than the next closest player in that span, according to ESPN Stats Info.
The Vertical first reported Crawford nearing a contract agreement with Minnesota.