Hawks saved $4 million in buyout of Crawford

The Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford (11) drives against the Milwaukee Bucks’ Jason Terry at Staples Center in Los Angeles on March 15, 2017. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

The Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford (11) drives against the Milwaukee Bucks’ Jason Terry at Staples Center in Los Angeles on March 15, 2017. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

The Hawks saved $4 million on the contract of Jamal Crawford. The team bought out the contract of the guard acquired in a three-way trade earlier this month, which allowed the former Hawks player to become an unrestricted free agent.

Crawford was owed $14.2 million and $3 million over the next two seasons, a total of $17.2 million. The Hawks bought out the contract for $10.9 million and $2.3 million, a total of $13.2 million, according to Basketball Insiders. The Hawks will stretch the salary-cap hits over the next two seasons and the cash payments over the next five seasons.

The Hawks obtained Crawford from the Clippers as part of a three-way trade that also involved the Nuggets. The Hawks also got a 2018 first-round pick, the centerpiece of the deal for the team, center Diamond Stone and cash considerations. Crawford immediately expressed a strong desire not to return to the Hawks and the buyout was eventually reached.

“That trade was to get the pick,” Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this month. “The advantage (of the buyout), I don’t know there was an advantage, other than we have a lot of guards the way it is. We want to give (DeAndre) Bembry an opportunity. We’ve seen in Las Vegas that he is doing well. We have (Marco) Belinelli there also. (Kent Bazemore) also. We just drafted (Tyler) Dorsey. We just have a lot of wing guys. It didn’t make a lot of sense from a roster standpoint. Again, we did that trade to gain an asset.”

The 2018 first-round pick belongs to the Rockets and was obtained in the sign-and-trade for Chris Paul.

After he cleared waivers, Crawford agreed to a two-year, $8.9 million with the Timberwolves.

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