Apparently, Crawford isn't going to walk away from the $19 million left on his contract, because the Warriors are in fact looking to move him. According to ESPN.com, the Warriors and Hawks are close to a deal that will send Crawford to Atlanta for Speedy Claxton and Acie Law.
A Hawks source has confirmed to FanHouse, though, that the trade is still in the discussion stages and no deal has been struck.
Crawford found himself amid a crowded backcourt in Golden State after he was acquired from the New York Knicks in a trade for Al Harrington in December. The Warriors tried Crawford at both point guard and shooting guard last season, but Nelson was unimpressed.
Late in the regular season, Nelson met with Crawford and told him that if he didn't exercise his ETO, the Warriors would trade him.
The Warriors appear poised to head into the season with Monta Ellis handling the bulk of the point guard duties. Nelson said he would like Stephen Jackson to be the team's starting off-guard. Considering the Warriors also have Kelenna Azubuike, Marco Belinelli and Anthony Morrow, it's easy to see the issue with Crawford.
But even if the Warriors make Ellis their point, they will likely still need a true point guard on their roster, whether to back up Ellis or to play alongside him at times. That's where Law would come in.
Law has been a player Nelson has had his eyes on for years. Interestingly, two years ago the Hawks and Warriors discussed a trade that involved Law and would have included Ellis going to the Hawks.
While Law played sparingly for the Hawks last season, only about 10 minutes per game, he would be the Warriors' only true point guard on the roster. Conventional wisdom suggests the Warriors will try to land a point guard in Thursday's draft with the No. 7 pick.
The move would save the Warriors upwards of $10 million or more because Crawford was under contract for approximately $19 million over the next two seasons. Without exercising his early ETO, of course.
Claxton is in the final year of his contract and is set to make $5.2 million. However, he is unlikely to play in 2009-10, and much of that salary is likely to be paid through insurance. Law has one more guaranteed year remaining on his contract – at $2.2 million – with a team option for 2010-11.