Boston Celtics

With the official start of the team’s training camp just a week away, the Boston Celtics and veteran guard Jamal Crawford appear to have a mutual interest in one another, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

During an appearance on CLNS Media’s Celtics Beat podcast, Weiss talked about the communication between the Celtics and the 18-year NBA veteran Crawford, and the apparent waiting game that’s developed between the sides.

“There is mutual interest between the Celtics and Crawford,” Weiss said. “That I do know. The Celtics didn’t make an offer to him. He’s been kind of waiting for the right situation to materialize. That’s why he’s holding out to training camp, basically. He wants to be in a position to win a championship. He wants to sign on with one of these title teams.”

A three-time Sixth Man of the Year, Crawford spent last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he averaged 10.3 points in 20.7 minutes per night in the regular season. The 38-year-old bench talent then averaged 11.8 points and 2.4 assists per game and shot 44.7 percent from the field in Minnesota’s five-game postseason run.

Considered to be one of the league’s most effective bench presences, Crawford has averaged double-digit points per game in 16 straight seasons, and has played in 74 playoff games between the Atlanta Hawks, L.A. Clippers, and T’Wolves.

And Crawford’s interest in the Celtics, who are considered the favorites in the Eastern Conference and present perhaps the greatest threat to the Warriors’ NBA stranglehold, is obvious, as he remains in pursuit of his first championship ring.

An obvious holdup in Crawford’s ability to sign with Boston, though, comes back to the uncertainty regarding Jabari Bird.

Arrested earlier this month for a domestic violence incident, and facing a multitude of charges, Bird was the player that the Celtics signed to their final NBA roster spot earlier this summer, which included a fully guaranteed salary in 2018-19.

Since his arrest, the Celtics have decided to simply let the league office handle Bird’s future, though it’s worth mentioning that outright releasing the 24-year-old would have to come with the Celtics swallowing $2.7 million in salary and luxury tax.

But it’s perhaps the C’s lone available move if they’re to sign Crawford for added scoring off the bench, as they’re set to enter training camp with a fully loaded roster featuring 15 guaranteed NBA contracts, as well as two-way contract signee P.J. Dozier.