RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Jordan CrawfordPosted by rtmsf on June 17th, 2010
Player Name: Jordan Crawford
Height/Weight: 6’4, 198
NBA Position: SG
Projected Draft Range: Late first round/Early second round
Overview: Following a hectic summer headlined by an infamous dunk over LeBron James, Indiana transfer Jordan Crawford entered Xavier with the goal of becoming that go-to scoring option that would vault the Musketeers back to the Sweet 16 in Chris Mack’s first season at the helm. Crawford accomplished both goals with gusto. Crawford finished behind only UMass’ guard Ricky Harris for the A-10 scoring lead in the regular season, posting fourteen 20+ point performances during that span. As March rolled around, so did Crawford’s peak. The 6’4 sparkplug put up 62 points in Xavier’s three Atlantic 10 Tournament contests and carried that scoring prowess into the NCAA Tournament where Crawford tied BYU’s Jimmer Fredette for the tournament’s scoring lead at 29.0 PPG. No college hoops fan will soon forget his three-pointer from the cancer ribbon on the court in Salt Lake City to send the Kansas State Sweet 16 game into double OT (he scored 32 in that one). This late season shooting display resulted in Crawford peaking at the right time and earning the attention of numerous NBA scouts and evaluators. A player most assumed would stick around for another A-10 and Sweet 16 run was soon headed to the pros after just one season in Bloomington and one in Cincinnati. Crawford certainly left a lasting legacy for Musketeer fans, though, as one of the most exciting, inconsistent, heart-pounding and frustrating players to ever grace the floor of the Cintas Center.
Will Translate to the NBA: Crawford is one of the more polished and explosive scorers in the Draft. He knows he can score at any spot on the floor and shows it sometimes far too often. Crawford can spot up from mid-range or far behind the NBA three-point line and knock down the shot with proficiency. He was one of the more effective scorers in all of college basketball last year because of three reasons: 1) that unlimited shooting range, 2) craftiness and effort without the ball, and 3) persistence to penetrate and get to the rim. In isolation situations, Crawford is phenomenal at creating his own shot, even if it’s not the smartest one. He’s also tremendous off the ball reading screens, catching and elevating with his release high above the defender. Remember those old NBA video games where the player would literally catch fire when he’d make four or five shots in a row? That’s Jordan Crawford. The problem is that a series of misfires doesn’t deter the kid. He will shoot you in and out of basketball games.
Needs Work: Crawford’s shot selection and decision making must improve. He was in the perfect situation at Xavier because he was their only consistent scoring threat, so Mack could deal with Crawford taking twenty shots and dominating the ball on any given night. In the NBA, Crawford has to learn to utilize more discretion on his shots and maintain a level of effectiveness even as a role player. Crawford has the basketball IQ to bowl his way to the rim for free throws or layups when his shot isn’t falling, but we can’t recall very many times last season he decided to kick the ball out for open threes for teammates when the defense collapsed. Crawford is also a mediocre defender that tends to gamble and lose more than stick on his man, a sign of laziness on that end. More than anything, it seems to us his on-court ego needs to deflate just a tad, because Crawford can be a deadly complimentary player if he sets his mind to it.
Comparison Players: We see Crawford being a better version of Flip Murray. He won’t quite be as complete or accomplished as J.R. Smith or Jamal Crawford, but there’s no doubt in our mind Crawford can become an exceptional scoring weapon off the bench. The fact that Crawford is a slightly undersized 2-guard with unreliable ball-handling skills and a hot/cold jump shot reminds us of Flip Murray. We see his ceiling as slightly higher, but the comparison seems valid.
Best Case Scenario: Jamal Crawford is the best case scenario. We think Jordan can become a much better defender if he puts in the time, effort and study, and he’ll never become quite the scoring dynamo as Jamal, but the scoring punch is certainly evident. Crawford can form a fantastic career as a feared scoring threat off the bench that can catch fire at any point in the game and may even see crunch time minutes as a feared shot-maker. We’re not saying he’ll collect Sixth Man of the Year trophies, but Crawford can certainly become a similar weapon.
2013 Projection: We envision Crawford putting together a successful NBA career depending on the team. A fast-paced, run-and-gun type offense that plays tons of possessions and allows Crawford numerous shot attempts while not relying on him for consistent defense would certainly fit early in his career. Anyone that watched Crawford in the NCAA Tournament this March knows his scoring potential is absurd. He’s much too potent to flame out in the NBA, unless he becomes overly selfish and completely ditches the defensive end of the floor. We’ll take the optimistic route: in three years: Crawford is one of the top bench scorers in the NBA.
Best NBA Fit: Pretty much any NBA squad could find room for Crawford on their bench. The highest he could go is #24 to Atlanta if Jamal Crawford has to replace Joe Johnson in the starting lineup. Memphis at #25 or New Jersey at #27 are also decent fits for the former Musketeer. Any team drafting Crawford in the second round could be getting a flat out steal.
* Zach Hayes contributed this draft profile to RTC.