Veteran sixth man Jamal Crawford is eyeing to join the Los Angeles Lakers if the Clippers buy out his contract, allowing him to become a free agent. According to Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Crawford wants to play with rookie Lonzo Ball. Crawford has developed a strong relationship with Ball and his family is based in Los Angeles.

The Lakers can create $17.2 million in cap room to sign Crawford by releasing the cap holds of Thomas Robinson, Tyler Ennis, Nick Young and Metta World Peace. Crawford can serve as a shooting guard and mentor to Ball, who was known for his passing ability in his only season at UCLA.

The Golden State Warriors are also interested in signing Crawford, but they can only offer a $5.2 million midlevel exception for the three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year. Next season, Crawford is assured a salary of $14.2 million while he can get a guaranteed $3 million out of his $14.5 million contract for the 2018-19 season.

Crawford a solid sixth man for the Lakers

During the 2015-16 season, Crawford became the oldest player to win the Sixth Man Award at age 26 after averaging 14.2 points and 2.3 assists in 26.9 minutes in 79 appearances, 74 of which came off the bench. Crawford, a 16-year veteran, also won the NBA Sixth Man Award in 2009-2010 with the Atlanta Hawks and in 2013-14 with the Clippers.

An 8th overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2000 Draft, Crawford played his first four NBA seasons with the Bulls before moving to the New York Knicks, where he played from 2004 to 2009. He played one year with the Warriors, two years with the Hawks, and one year with the Portland Trail Blazers before joining the Clippers, where he played five seasons.

Known for his sweet shooting, Crawford averaged 15.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 1,182 career games. He is one of six active players with at least three games of 50-plus points, joining Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Crawford headed to the Atlanta Hawks in 3-team deal?

Meanwhile, it was reported that the Clippers may ship Crawford to the Hawks as part of the three-team trade that also involves the Denver Nuggets.

Based on details of the deal, the Nuggets will sign Gallinari to a three-year, $65 million deal before trading him to the Clippers. The Clippers, in turn, will send Crawford, Diamond Stone and a first-round pick to the Hawks while the Nuggets get to sign power forward Paul Millsap.

Crawford, for his part, hinted that he will ask for a buyout from the Hawks. Atlanta, for its part, might not be willing to pay the remaining $17.2 million guaranteed money in Crawford’s contract and may ask the veteran to give back some of the amount.