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The Philadelphia 76ers and free-agent shooting guard Jamal Crawford have mutual interest in getting a deal done, but the contract of Jerryd Bayless is currently holding up all talks, according to a report from Brandon Robinson of Scoop B Radio.
Bayless has one year left on his contract and is slated to make $8.6 million in 2018-19. The 30-year-old appeared in 39 games with the Sixers last season and averaged 7.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists.
Source: Jamal Crawford to Sixers is a done deal IF the team can buy our or trade Jerryd Bayless. Bayless has one season left on his original three-year, $27 million deal, which comes with a cap hit of more than $8.57 million this season. – https://t.co/jREry0dv4z #Sixers pic.twitter.com/HTZKcAQtz6
— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) August 31, 2018
Sixers star Ben Simmons told Robinson that Crawford “needs to come through,” urging the veteran guard to sign with Philadelphia. Crawford, who declined his 2018-19 player option with the Minnesota Timberwolves, told Robinson in early August he’s always loved the city of Philadelphia and would be honored to play for the Sixers.
“I think for me, especially being out there as a free-agent, something could work out,” Crawford told Robinson. “I would be honored to play there, but things obviously have to take its course and I kind of got to sit back, but who wouldn’t want to play there?”
The Sixers lost rookie guard Zhaire Smith to a Jones fracture and have grown more interested in Crawford’s services since the news broke that Smith would require surgery. The team let Ersan İlyasova and Marco Belinelli walk in free agency and is in need of a guy like Crawford who can come off the bench and get buckets in a hurry.
In 80 regular season games in 2017-18 with the Timberwolves, Crawford averaged 10.3 points while shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from 3-point range. He is looking for a larger role, as Crawford only played roughly 20 minutes a game with Minnesota.
So far, the Sixers haven’t had any luck finding a taker for Bayless. A buyout could be in the works as a last resort.