Simmons wants Crawford to sign with Sixers

Ben Simmons won the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year award.

Ben Simmons wants free-agent shooting guard Jamal Crawford to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Simmons told Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Scoop B Radio that Crawford “needs to come through,” urging the veteran guard to come to Philadelphia.

Crawford is currently an unrestricted free-agent and looking for a new team to join after spending this past season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 38-year-old signed a two-year, $9 million deal last offseason with the Timberwolves, but declined his 2018-19 player option.

In 80 regular season games in 2017-18, Crawford averaged 10.3 points while shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from 3-point range coming off the Minnesota bench. He is looking for a larger role, though, as Crawford only played roughly 20 minutes a game with the Timberwolves, something he wasn’t expecting.

The Sixers, who lost rookie guard Zhaire Smith to a Jones fracture, have grown more interested in Crawford’s services. 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.

Crawford told Robinson in early August he’s always loved the city of Philadelphia and would be honored to play for the Sixers, who are expected to be one of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference in 2018-19.

“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?

“I like their city. I like how into it they are about basketball. I like their knowledge of basketball, how passionate they are. I’ve always loved coach Brett Brown. I’ve been on record. I’ve been a fan of his for years. He just needed talent, and now he has that. He added Ben Simmons, I love his game. I love Jojo [Joel Embiid]. They’re both among my favorite players in the league to watch. Markelle [Fultz] is like a little brother to me. Obviously, he went to the University of Washington, and we talk every other day. J.JRedick is like a brother to me, we’ve been through wars together, so there’s so many things to love about Philadelphia for sure.”