2. Jamal Crawford 6’5 185
Jamal Crawford is the fourth former Atlanta Hawks guard, on our eight man list. Crawford is one of the best bench players in NBA history, winning sixth man of the year three times in his career.
This past season, Crawford posted his second lowest scoring total since his rookie season. Yet despite his advanced age, Crawford can still put the ball in the basket.
Crawford who is also known as “J Crossover” is one of the best ball handlers of this generation. He has move upon move, to either get by his man, or to give him enough space to splash a jumpshots in the defenders face.
Jamal Crawford is a career 35 percent shooter from three-point range. His efficiency has been down to 33 percentin his last two seasons, but he shot 36 percent just three seasons ago. He is still capable of going on a hot streak and taking over a game for an entire quarter.
Crawford looks for his shot first, but he does a good job dishing the rock to teammates, when he’s unable to score. He averaged 3.6 assists per game last season and averages 3.4 for his NBA career.
Jamal Crawford thrilled fans, when he played with the Hawks for two season from 2009-2011. Travis Schlenk traded for his contract, in addition to a first round pick that was eventually used to draft Omari Spellman, during the 2017 NBA offseason.
Crawford declined to play for the Hawks at that time, preferring to join a playoff contender instead. However the Atlanta Hawks now have John Collins and Trae Young. They are much further along now than there were at that point.
Jamal is said to be a fan of Young’s game and could certainly teach Trae and other young Hawks, more about setting up opponents off the dribble. This is a reunion that Atlanta should certainly explore.
1. Jerian Grant 6’4 205
Jerian Grant tops our list, as the best remaining point guard fit for the Atlanta Hawks. He doesn’t have the name or experience that some of the players on this list have, but I believe that he is the best option for the Hawks, should they use one of the remaining spots on a point guard.
Jerian Grant has good size and quickness for the point guard position. He has all of the tools required to be a good defender at the position and defending ones is the Atlanta Hawks biggest need in the backcourt.
Grant posted a respectable defensive rating, allowing just 109 points per 100 possessions. That would have tied him for first, had he been on the Atlanta Hawks team last season. He also averaged 1.7 steals per 36 minutes played, a good steal rate.
Offensively Grant is a decent passer, averaging 2.6 assist per game and six assists per 36 minutes. He’s also a three level scorer, shooting 70.8 percent at the rim and 45.2 percent from mid range. He even made 41.4 percent of his attempts in the, in between area of 10-16 feet.
Concerning the three-point shot, Jerian Grant struggled in his rookie season, horribly making just 22 percent of his triples. He has since found his stroke, making better than 36 percent of his attempts from downtown in two of the last three seasons, with a 33 percent season sandwiched in between.
Jerian Grant gives the Atlanta Hawks the best combination of defense and shooting, of any guard left in this year’s free agency period. He certainly won’t cost the team much, so the signing is a no brainer in my opinion.
The Atlanta Hawks are likely to keep one roster spot open heading into the season. Should future hall of fame veteran Vince Carter decide to return, that spot will certainly go to him. However as our Kit Anderson recently wrote, a return for Carter seems increasingly unlikely.
Rather its a young player or a veteran, the Atlanta Hawks would be wise to add a second true point guard to the roster. Preferably a man who can defend the position well.
With an opportunity available to return to the post season, the Hawks need to shore up depth at the lead guard spot. If they do not, one injury at that spot could jeopardize the entire season. And something that I’m sure that no Hawks executive or fan wants to see, in the wide open Eastern Conference next season.