So your NBA team, the pride of your city or maybe just the organization that employs your favorite player, just brought in Drew Crawford for the Summer League. What does this mean for your favorite team? Northwestern failed to make the NCAA Tournament in any of Crawford's seasons and were largely a Big Ten bottom dweller, but can Crawford still be a valuable addition?
Of course, as a Summer League signing, Crawford is very low risk for your favorite team. Not only did your team avoid using a Draft pick on him, but they aren't necessarily committed to him for very long. This makes Crawford an even more interesting addition. Crawford can provide quite a bit of strength and rebounding given his size and is a solid defensive option. Crawford was not necessarily the most consistent offensive player or shooter, but he was more than capable of hitting some big shots when the team needed it.
Crawford was the primary option for Northwestern in 2013-14. He took 24.8% of the team's total field goals and had the highest usage rate (27.2%) of any Northwestern player last season. Crawford was one of the strongest rebounders on the team with a 10.1% true rebounding rate, was one of the best passers on the team with a 17.1% assist rate, and led the team in total win shares (3.2). Though he was on a team that struggled, Crawford was a diverse player that made impacts all over the court.
Despite these skills, there are still some valid criticisms to Crawford's game. First, Crawford doesn't offer much in terms of athleticism. He can make a play here or there, but he's not going to beat a ton of NBA guys in a foot race. Along with this, Crawford is a bit small (6'5"), which would likely force him to play the 2 in the NBA. Considering that he is limited as a ball handler and didn't necessarily dominate at getting the ball inside (36.7% of attempts were from 3PT range), there has to be some concern about putting him at a spot like shooting guard. Add in that Crawford was on a bad offensive team (12th in B1G scoring), didn't necessarily show any particular skills that "jump off the chart," and is older than a lot of players and you have some valid concerns.
For more skill breakdown on Crawford, read here.
Of course, Crawford still can offer a lot to a team and considering that he is a Summer League signing, you expect to see some limitations to his game. If he is able to grow into the shooting guard role and provide a boost to rebounding and defense, he could be a nice addition to a team looking for a bench option.
Hopefully you and your NBA team will enjoy Crawford just as much as his Big Ten brethren have the last few years.