OAKLAND, Calif. The Hawks and Golden State Warriors were working Thursday to finalize a trade that would send point guard Jamal Crawford to Atlanta for guards Acie Law and Speedy Claxton, a person with knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press.
Crawford cant be traded until July 1 or until he signs paperwork indicating he wont opt out of his contract and become a free agent. Once he does that, the trade could be completed in the coming days, the person said on condition of anonymity because the talks were confidential.
The Warriors acquired Crawford, who had his differences with coach Don Nelson, from the New York Knicks early last season. He is due to make nearly $20 million the next two years and the trade certainly would help the Warriors regarding the salary cap.
Monta Ellis has already been made Golden States starting point guard heading into training camp. New general manager Larry Riley and Nelson recently visited Ellis in Memphis to tell him how important he is to the franchise.
Ellis, who signed a $66 million, six-year deal after averaging a career-best 20.2 points during the 2007-08 season, averaged 19 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season.
He was limited to 25 games because of a serious ankle injury last summer in a motorized scooter accident that resulted in a 30-game suspension without pay from the team.
Riley said he would consider picking a point guard with the No. 7 selection in Thursday nights NBA draft, but power forward Jordan Hill of Arizona also was high on his wish list.
The 29-year-old Crawford averaged 19.7 points, 4.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds last season.
Nelson indicated to Crawford during the season that he wasnt in the teams future plans. Nelson sat Crawford for a game against Charlotte on Feb. 27 and he was benched twice in one week during March. He then missed another game after asking for more practice time to prepare following the benchings.
Crawford provides the Hawks with depth and flexibility at the guard spot. Starting point guard Mike Bibby and backup combo guard Flip Murray are both unrestricted free agents after helping Atlanta reach the second round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
Bibby averaged 14.9 points and 5.0 assists, giving the Hawks their first true point guard since Mookie Blaylock. Murray chipped in with a 12.2 scoring average.
Claxton was a fan favorite during two seasons with the Warriors from 2003-05 but has been hampered by knee problems and other ailments. He went more than two years without playing until the final week of the season and now is in the final year of his contract.
AP Sports Writer Paul Newberry in Atlanta contributed to this report.