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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Celtics Flip Two Expiring Contracts (Barbosa, Collins) To Wizards For Jordan Crawford

The 2013 NBA Trade Deadline came and passed today without any major names being dealt around the league, unless you count J.J. Redick going to Milwaukee as particularly notable. The Celtics mostly stayed the same-Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are still in Green and White-although they made a minor move which could pay off quite soon. They traded injured guard Leandro Barbosa and useless center Jason Collins to the Washington Wizards for guard Jordan Crawford.

First of all, the Celts basically obtained Crawford (who has averaged 13.2 points per game this season, 13.4 points per game in his career) for nothing. Washington wanted Barbosa and Collins because their contracts expire after this season. As always, the Wizards are rebuilding so they are trying to unload as much money as they can. If you don't follow Washington, you are forgiven since they have been hopeless for years. However, if you consider yourself a basketball fan then you should know Crawford for two reasons. 1) He was great in college at Xavier and 2) He dunked on LeBron James (when he was at Xavier) which forced hyper-sensitive Nike to destroy all recordings of that special moment.

It might seem like Boston doesn't have much use for Crawford with Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry all on the roster. There is a logjam at shooting guard with the C's but with Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Barbosa out for the season, they are in desperate need of bench scoring. Enter Crawford who has started less than half (62 of 149) the games in his NBA career yet still managed to play 26.2 minutes per game. Barbosa had provided a real spark after Rondo went down so Crawford should help replace what they lost when Barbosa tore his ACL.

Crawford will be motivated since he is back on a good team. He started out with the Hawks for 16 games in 2010-11 before he was traded to the black hole known as the Wizards. Being part of a contender that will be in the playoffs should do wonders for him as he regains his confidence. He was playing less since John Wall came back from an injury but he was having a decent season: .415 field goal percentage, career-high 34.5% on 3-pointers and 82% on free throws. I would expect him to make his Celtics debut tomorrow night as they continue their West Coast road trip in Phoenix (9 p.m., CSN).

Bigger picture, this lack of action proves that Celtics GM Danny Ainge was more willing to see what the current group could do in a watered down Eastern Conference versus trading KG or Pierce for future assets. I can't say I disagree with him, might as well give them one last chance (haha I know we've said that like the last three years) then re-evaluate the situation during the summer when I'm assuming many more big names will be available via trades and free agency. There was no reason to blow it up now when they've proven in the last few weeks that they can beat anybody.

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