The Westchester Knicks had depth in the backcourt in their second season, which was something the team lacked during their inaugural season. Travis Trice and Jimmer Fredette started in the backcourt while Jordon Crawford and Kevin Capers came off the bench.
With three teams set to enter the D-League next season (Windy City Bulls, Greensboro Swarm, and Long Island Nets), the Knicks have the right to protect certain players heading into the expansion draft. Outside of Trice, Westchester should protect Jordon Crawford.
While Crawford and Capers were bench players for the majority of the season, Crawford was put into the starting rotation when Fredette received a 10-day callup in February. When he stepped into the starting rotation, his production increased. In the six games the former Bowling Green product started, he averaged 15.8 points and 3.2 assists per game and shot fifty-one percent from the field. While Crawford made strides on offense as a starter, his biggest asset was his defensive presence.
Don't let his small stature fool you. He stands in at 5'6" and 150 pounds, but he can be a pesky defender and can nab a few steals in the process, as he displayed against the Erie Bayhawks.
Mr. Steal yo' ball: @IAM_JCraw #HIGHLIGHTS! pic.twitter.com/nvLLCSVu1e— Westchester Knicks (@wcknicks) March 19, 2016
The Cincinnati, OH native can get to the basket and has shown the ability to improve his shooting. The Knicks guard managed to shoot fifty percent or better in four of the six games he started. At some points during the season, he has shown he can finish after contact. While he does not matchup to other guards in terms of size, he has the quickness to get around the opposition. When you mix the speed with his ability to pick up a steal, Crawford can turn it into easy offense.
It's beneficial for the team to secure the rights of Crawford, along with Travis Trice, heading into the expansion draft. These two have developed chemistry in their first season in the D-League and maintained success in the process. Having a Crawford-Trice backcourt next season could continue the success of the team. Westchester made the playoffs this past season with an improved backcourt, so bringing back the chemistry could lead the Knicks towards another playoff run.
Of course, there are a few scenarios. If Crawford receives an exceptional offer from a team overseas, does he take his talents overseas? Or does he return to the D-League; where he can continue to develop his game and stay in proximity of NBA teams.
If Crawford makes a return to Westchester next season, he could be thrusted into the starting line-up. Last season, he started to prove that he is a contender to be in the starting rotation. With the way the NBA D-League is, there is likely to be competition in the backcourt next season in Westchester even if the 5'6" guard returns to the team. Even with the possibly competition in the backcourt, Jordon Crawford showed improvement when his workload was increased in his rookie season.