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Blazers Are One Of Three Finalists For UFA G Jamal Crawford

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that a financial benchmark has been set for unrestricted free agent guard Jamal Crawford, who has been linked to the Portland Trail Blazers in rumors for months. ------------------------------ Sources with knowledge of deal say Indiana Pacers have two-year offer out to Jamal Crawford worth $10 million with out to return to free agency next summer. Pacers, though, could still be outbid by Minnesota Timberwolves, who want Crawford to play 2 guard next to Ricky Rubio with J.J. Barea completing three-guard rotation. New York Knicks have not given up hope of trying to sell Crawford on coming back to NYC for $2.5M. Blazers and Sacramento Kings also still bidding. ------------------------------ Update: Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that Crawford has "turned down" the Pacers' offer. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reports that Crawford is down to Portland, New York and the Sacramento Kings. New York can only offer a room exception deal worth $2.5 million per year for up to two years. Sacramento is under the cap so they can make a larger financial offer but the Kings currently have 178 shooting guards -- none of whom has completed a pass during his NBA career -- on the roster. Jason Quick of The Oregonian reports: "Agent Andy Miller confirms Portland's interest in guard Jamal Crawford. They have offered 2 years, $10 million. Crawford considering. Blazers are operating as if they have full MLE. Miller says Crawford does not want a long-term deal." Quick reports: "Blazers interim general manager Chad Buchanan confirms interest in Jamal Crawford, saying 'we are in discussions' with the free agent guard." Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that the decision is expected on Wednesday and confirms that New York, Portland and Sacramento are the finalists. Sam Amick of SI.com reports that "source says Kings offer similar to Portland (approximately $5 million). They're only team of 3 that can go higher; unclear if they will." Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge wrote on Twitter Tuesday afternoon: "I'm doing my best to get Jamal Crawford to Portland Rip City." Aldridge publicly recruited Crawford throughout the lockout. To make the reported 2-years, $10 million offer, the Blazers would need to waive guard Brandon Roy using the amnesty clause to recover use of a full Mid-Level Exception. Doing so would allow an offer of up to 4-years and worth up to $22 million. Without waiving Roy via amnesty, Portland could only offer Crawford a 3-year deal worth $9 million. The best they could do on a 2-year deal would be $6 million. Quick reports a second possible path for adding Crawford... ---------------------------- Blazers last weekend initiated application process for Disabled Player Exception for Roy. If granted, Blazers could offer 1 year, $5 million. Agent Andy Miller said the Disabled Player Exception was a scenario offered to his client, Jamal Crawford, along with part of mid-level. Blazers are hopeful NBA's ruling on Disabled Player Exception can be levied some time this week. ---------------------------- Disabled Player Exceptions require independent confirmation of a season-ending injury by an NBA doctor. The Blazers applied for and received a DPE for center Greg Oden last season but it took roughly three weeks to be approved by the NBA. On Monday, the Blazers were included on a list of four teams reportedly pursuing Crawford. The other three teams: Indiana, Minnesota and New York. Crawford, 31, is a Seattle native and bench scoring specialist who averaged 14.2 points and 3.2 assists per game for the Atlanta Hawks last season. He's set to enter his 12th NBA season. A team source told Blazersedge on Monday that the team was pursuing a free agent signing at the two or four position. ed: bumped to top, updates posting regularly -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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