Just about an hour before the 3 p.m. NBA Trade Deadline, the Boston Celtics finalized a deal with the Washington Wizards that will send the Celtics Jordan Crawford for Leandro Barbosa’s expiring contract. Barbosa is also set to miss the rest of this season with a torn ACL. The addition of Crawford to the Celtics essentially serves as a placement for the injured Barbosa.
Crawford is averaging 13.2 points, 3.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game this season while with Washington. However, that doesn’t tell the entire story. Since John Wall’s return to the Wizards on Jan. 7, Crawford has struggled shooting and has seen a significant decrease in his minutes.
Without Wall, Crawford was the main scoring threat for Washington. In the 31 games Crawford played without Wall, he averaged a team-high 15.6 points per game and added 4.6 assists and four boards per contest.
What Crawford will add to the Celtics is a more proficient scoring threat and another ball-handler. After the season-ending injury to Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley has taken over the point guard duties for Boston, but has had no real back-up. Crawford isn’t a point guard by trade, but he is sound at handling the ball.
Crawford is also an improvement over Courtney Lee, who is currently playing 23.7 minutes per game in the Celtics’ rotation. Lee is averaging just 7.8 point, 1.6 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game in those minutes, though. Crawford has put up noticeably better stats in just a few more minutes per game at 26.2. Crawford’s shooting percentage is slightly lower than Lee’s, but that’s probably more of testament to the Wizard’s offense than anything.
The Celtics have emerged as a very active team leading up to the trade deadline, being rumored to be a part of several deals. This one is the first one that’s been finalized, and it’s a smart one. We’ll wait and see if there is more to come out of Boston.