10 former Portland Trail Blazers that might surprise you

Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Jamal Crawford, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Jamal Crawford (2011-12)

Statistics: 14.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game on 38.4 percent shooting

The NBA’s free agency period before the 2011-12 season had trouble living up to the hype of the year before, but the late start did assist in creating major player movement along the league. While Chris Paul’s trade to Los Angeles and the Mavericks shipping Tyson Chandler to the Knicks were the more marquee transactions, the Trail Blazers made a run-of-the-mill, underrated move that presumably should’ve helped elevate a 48-34 team from the year prior.

A week-and-a-half before the start of the lockout-shortened season, the Portland Trail Blazers signed the perennial 20-point scorer to provide a formidable backup for Wesley Matthews and Raymond Felton.

Along the way, there were many a nights in which Crawford was the de-facto “Robin” to LaMarcus Aldridge. The Trail Blazers actually started the year off at 7-2, the No. 2 team in the Western Conference. What could possibly go wrong, you might ask? Let’s ask ESPN.com’s Chad Ford:

"“Let’s just put this way. Either the Blazers find a new home for Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford (who have quietly orchestrated a mutiny ever since Nate McMillan chewed them out in a video session a while back) or they’ll probably have to let Nate go.”"

Reports offer that Crawford and Felton led a charge to get Nate McMillan fired, probably the biggest story of the lost 2011-12 season. The Portland Trail Blazers finished 21-36 the rest of the way, and Crawford shot just 38.4 percent, the worst of any season other than his rookie year in 2000-01.

After leaving, Crawford later admitted to feeling extremely motivated to prove himself after doubters said the then-32-year-old was past his prime. He went on to win two more Sixth Man of the Year awards, a Teammate of the Year award, and was also an integral part of two championship-contending Clippers teams.

If only those critics could’ve called Crawford “washed up” a few months earlier. Can we add that to the list of “what if” scenarios, or do we have enough already?