Apparently, Jamal Crawford needed more than 2.5 million reasons to come to New York.
ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reports that Crawford signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday. The contract has a player option in the second year.
The Knicks are over the cap and could only offer Crawford their $2.5 million "room" exception, which amounts to a two-year deal worth $5 million.
Crawford chose Portland over the Knicks and Sacramento Kings, who were offering two-year deal worth $6.5 million per season, according to Broussard.
"We were a long shot to start with. I think the relationships that he had here in New York and how he loved it -- I thought we had a shot at it," Mike D'Antoni said on Thursday. "Although being one of the under-bidders, you take your best shot. It doesn’t change any of that. You just wish him well and I’m sure he’ll do fine."
The Knicks could still offer the $1.4 million veteran's minimum to Baron Davis. He was clipped by the Cavs via the amnesty clause on Wednesday.
Their was talk of the Knicks executing a sign-and-trade for Crawford, but any deal would have likely included Toney Douglas. The organization was said to be hesitant to part with Douglas, who is penciled in as the team's starting point guard and is a strong perimeter defender.
The Indianapolis Star reported via Twitter that Crawford turned down a two-year, $10 million offer from the Pacers that included an opt-out after the first season earlier this week.
So the Knicks' offer of $2.5 million wasn't going to get it done, despite D'Antoni's best efforts (the coach said on Wednesday that he tried to recruit Crawford).
On Monday, Knicks interim GM Glen Grunwald said the team "would certainly love to have Jamal back."
Crawford, 31, played for the Knicks from 2004-08 and boasts a career average of 15.4 points per game over 11 seasons.
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