Timberwolves sixth-man Jamal Crawford has a legitimate case to be inducted as a Hall of Famer, as he has the best resume of any bench contributor in NBA history. Being considered a Hall of Fame player during your career is, of course, rare. Most players aren’t even considered until after their playing days are over, unless one is a perennial All-Star.
The Minnesota Timberwolves haven’t had much in the way of Hall of Fame talent in their history besides Kevin Garnett, but now they have Jamal Crawford. Crawford, of course, has been in the league for 18 years and has played for seven teams as either a starter or sixth man. As the the greatest sixth man the NBA has ever seen, he should be under consideration for the Hall of Fame when it’s all said and done.
Crawford is averaging 9.2 points per game this season — his lowest since his second year in the league — but for his career has averaged 15.2 points per game. He has come off the bench 433 times out of the 1207 games he has played and has won the Sixth Man of the Year award three times.
The first time Crawford won the award was during his first season with the Atlanta Hawks back in 2009-10. Playing in 79 games and starting none, he averaged 18 points and helped Atlanta get to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
From there, he won his next two awards with the Los Angeles Clippers, who were perennial contenders under head coach Doc Rivers. In his five-year career with the Clippers, he averaged 15.3 points per game and shot 35.4 percent from beyond the arc. When Crawford won the award for the 2015-16 season, he became the oldest player to win the award at 35 years old.
Winning three Sixth Man of the Year awards has never happened before, and only four players have won two. Crawford being one of them. The other three? Kevin McHale, Ricky Pierce, and Detlef Schrempf.
It’s extremely hard to come into a game off the bench and get your shot going, and Crawford has made a career off that. He was always good enough to be a starter and proved it during his time with the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls. No matter what role Crawford plays, he will produce.