Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Jamal Crawford is a solid fantasy player when he gets on the court. The problem is that Golden State Warriors Coach Don Nelson is apparently using his eligibility to play as a tool to get Crawford to opt out of his current contract. Crawford is due to make almost $20 million over the next two seasons.
Crawford didn't play on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers, Thursday against the Lakers or Friday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers even though he was healthy. It's unknown when he'll get to play again.
Meanwhile, fantasy owners who have enjoyed Crawford's production in the up- tempo Warriors and New York Knicks offenses, sit frustrated by the action.
Crawford is averaging 19.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 4.4 apg in the 59 games he has played. But it seems as if we don't have any choice but to bench him over the final weeks of the 2008-09 regular season.
Nelson now starts Stephen Jackson and Monte Ellis at guard with Brandan Wright and Kelenna Azubuike at forward. The coach brings point guard C.J. Watson, and shooting guards Anthony Morrow and Marco Belinelli off the bench so there no longer is room for Crawford, at least from Nelson's point of view.
"I don't think that the mix is good enough, it's just like with oil and water," Nelson said to a San Francisco Chronicle reporter last Tuesday. "They're both really good players, but we need somebody that can guard a No.2. Especially when you get into the good teams, the No.2's are 6-foot-7, and Monta's not a very big guy."
Hopefully, Crawford can find a place to play next season, because it's obviously not going to happen in Golden State.