We all know that Jamal Crawford would like a contract extension from the Atlanta Hawks but he could be backing down from a trade demand. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe is reporting that while Crawford certainly wants an extension, he will stop short of making any demands to be traded:
Crawford has not publicly demanded a trade, and he won’t, but he has made it clear in talking to the Globe that an extension would be appreciated.
While it was originally reported that Crawford planned to ask for a trade if he was not offered an extension, it now appears that he might be backing off of those demands. The Hawks seem poised to offer an extension to Al Horford rather than Jamal Crawford. Crawford and his agent have to have seen the writing on the wall in Atlanta with the Hawks all but drafting his potential replacement in Jordan Crawford this summer. It would seem all along that the plan has been for Jamal to play out his final season in Atlanta before moving on prior to the start of next season.
It was reported that Rick Sund was to meet with Jamal and his agent sometime in the near future and there have been no reports as to whether or not that meeting has happened yet. Jamal really won't have a lot of leverage when negotiating with the Hawks. A potential training camp holdout would hurt his negotiations with any other team and do as much damage to his reputation as it would the Hawks. However, it might be to the Hawks benefit to move Crawford if they feel that he could become a distraction or if his unhappiness might effect his play. The current thinking is that Jamal would show up to camp and carry on despite the lack of progress on a contract.
Even if Crawford were to be traded there are no guarantees that the team trading for him would offer an extension. That would mean his agent will have to work hard to find a potential suitor that would offer him an extension and mutually offer the Hawks something in return that they would be willing to accept. If such a trade can't be found, then it would seem that Jamal's best option would be to return to Atlanta in hopes of building on the success that he had last season in hopes of raising his value for next season.