With Rajon Rondo supposedly coming back Friday, the Boston Celtics decided to part ways with Jordan Crawford as part of a three-team trade with the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat. The Celtics will receive center Joel Anthony, the Heat will receive Toney Douglas and the Warriors acquire Crawford and MarShon Brooks from Boston. In addition to Anthony, the Celtics will get a future protected first-round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers and a future second-round pick from Miami. However, an official statement has not been released yet.
Crawford has had a fantastic year. First-year coach Brad Stevens decided to put him in the point-guard role where he has thrived ever since. Crawford has been running the show on offense and has been the Boston’s leading scorer in a number of games. The once acclaimed Eastern Conference Player of the Week has been averaging 13.7 points, 5.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds. The assist number should really jump out at you. Crawford was always seen as an off-guard that could only put the ball in the basket. While he may take some unorthodox shots, Crawford has elevated his game this season. He has become more of team-oriented, unselfish player.
With this trade, the Warriors have received a boost to their guard depth. The next guards on their roster were Kent Bazmore and Toney Douglas who averaged 2.8 points and 3.7 points respectively. The acquisition of Crawford should be extremely beneficial to them in the Western Conference playoff race as their bench is much more balanced now.
The Heat also benefit from this trade. Miami likes to play a small lineup, and Joel Anthony did not fit in with their fast, shooting team. Instead, Toney Douglas should provide a little more pop from the outside. Ray Allen could be used more at the three, and Douglas and Norris Cole can occupy the two guard spots.
Joel Anthony does not bring much to the table for Boston. In fact, he’ll most likely rarely see action on the court. This was simply a move to weaken the Celtics’ playoff hopes and strengthen the chance of hitting the lottery. Boston has a low margin for error, so taking a guy like Crawford, who at times led the offense, will hurt them more than you would think. Yes, Rondo is an upgrade from Crawford as a point guard but not much as a scorer. Also, the Celtics receive additional draft picks.
The move paves the way for Rondo’s return but also takes away a reliable weapon for Boston. This is an obvious move that will benefit the Celtics in the draft and ultimately the future.