Cavaliers Nation

Report: Cavs Didn’t Sign Jamal Crawford Due to Interest in Another Player

Jamal Crawford Clippers Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers‘ pursuit of free agent veteran guard Jamal Crawford has virtually come to an end, with the team’s financial constraints once again playing a role. That’s because signing Crawford would have likely made it impossible for the Cavaliers to sign a player they’ve had the rights to for the past two years: 6-foot-8 forward Cedi Osman.

Per Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

“Crawford was interested in joining the Cavs, but the team told him it would not pay him its full $5.2 million mid-level exception to the salary cap because of its interest in bringing Osman to the club.

“Cleveland owns the NBA rights to the Turkish forward Osman, and to add him to the team this season needed to be able to pay him more than the $816,000 minimum salary for a rookie.”

Crawford has been in the NBA since 2001, yet despite being 37 years old, he averaged 12.3 points and 2.6 assists in his fifth year with the Los Angeles Clippers this past season. The Minnesota Timberwolves will be the seventh team in his professional career.

Osman was selected by the Timberwolves with the 31st overall pick in the 2015 draft, though that was part of a draft night deal with the Cavs. He’s played the last two seasons overseas, but has given an indication that he would like to play in the NBA for the 2017-18 campaign. How much he would be able to help the Cavaliers in the next year remains up in the air, given the team’s focus on once again reaching the NBA Finals.

Playing for two seasons with Anadolu Efes in Turkey, Osman averaged 7.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and .6 steals during the 2016-17 season.

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