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Jamal Crawford a bundle of nerves during free agency

Jamal Crawford holds aloft the trophy he won as the NBA sixth man of the year during a ceremony before a playoff game in April.It was his third such award overall, his second as a member of the Clippers.

Jamal Crawford holds aloft the trophy he won as the NBA sixth man of the year during a ceremony before a playoff game in April.It was his third such award overall, his second as a member of the Clippers.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sixteen years in the NBA still hasn’t stopped Jamal Crawford from trying to settle his emotions while he traverses through this free-agency period.

Crawford has dealt with his nerves making him “anxious” and “nervous” and “excited” about what the future holds for the only player in NBA history to win the sixth man of the year award three times.

He’s an unrestricted free agent looking for a landing spot, whether it’s back with the Clippers or another team willing to pay him a nice salary to provide buckets.

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“I’ve always said my preference is to return to the Clippers, but I have to go into this process very open-minded,” Crawford said Friday during an interview on NBA TV. “I’m very open-minded in this process and then just play it by ear and go from there.”

Crawford met with Doc Rivers, the Clippers’ coach and president, and owner Steve Ballmer, all of them coming away with the idea of being patient.

Crawford met with the Orlando Magic Friday and has meetings set up with Dallas, New York and Miami.

He knows so much is on hold with the Clippers until Kevin Durant makes a decision on his free agency. The Clippers were scheduled to meet with Durant Friday night in the Hamptons on Long Island, N.Y.

Rivers, Ballmer and other team executives were going to attend and it was possible that Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul were going to be at the meeting in an attempt to woo Durant to the Clippers.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to be out there this year,” Crawford said. “But I talked to Doc and I went to eat dinner with Steve Ballmer and we had a great conversation. Doc said, ‘Look, at the end of the day, we want you back here. Period. We understand you have business to do and you have things to kind of work out, but we want you here.’ And that’s how they plan on moving forward. But obviously,Kevin Durant is the No. 1 option for just about everybody in the NBA, and you go from there.”

Crawford earned $5.6 million last season with the Clippers.

Crawford has seen all the big contracts being given to free agents this summer. An NBA official not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said Crawford may be able to fetch as much as $13 million per season.

Crawford, after all, did average 14.2 points on 40.4% shooting, 34% on three-pointers, with the Clippers last season, en route to his second sixth man of the year award with the team. He won the first of those awards after the 2009-10 season when he was with the Atlanta Hawks.

“It’s Christmas in July, that’s for sure,” Crawford, laughing, said about the money being spent on free agents. “It’s been an unbelievable summer so far and it’s still happening.… It’s been incredible to be kind a part of and kind of sit back and watch a little bit.”

Though he’s 36 and a 16-year veteran, Crawford emphasized on NBA TV that he still has a lot to offer a team.

“I understand I have a lot of miles,” Crawford said, “but I feel really, really good.”


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