Guard comes to NY in six-player swap
ESPN.com news services
After almost five weeks of on-and-off haggling, Jamal Crawford's finally headed to New York.
The Knicks and Bulls announced a deal Thursday afternoon that sends Crawford, a combo guard, and forward Jerome Williams to New York in exchange for four players in the final year of their contracts -- center Dikembe Mutombo, forward Othella Harrington, guard Frank Williams and center Cezary Trybanski.
As Crawford was a restricted free agent, the Bulls actually had to sign him to a new deal -- with several reports placing it in the seven-year, $56 million range -- before sending him to the Knicks. For the Bulls, the key to the deal was the financial flexibility they received by obtaining a number of expiring contracts.
"Over the course of these negotiations we've stated all along, that if we were going to move Jamal Crawford, it would be imperative for us to receive financial flexibility from a cap standpoint," Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said in a news release. "Not only does this deal help us in that regard, but the players that we acquired have added depth to our roster and will help us this season."
The 6-foot-5 Crawford averaged 17.3 points and 5.1 assists last season in Chicago, but shot only 38.6 percent from the field.
"It's never easy to move a player with the ability of a Jamal Crawford," Paxson said in the release. "As evidenced by his time here, he has a world of talent and we wish him well. However, there are realities of this business and this move is one of them. This trade accelerates our team's flexibility and moves us in the right direction."