He struggled to find a role, and wasn't an impact player for a team desperate for quality guard play after losing Rajon Rondo. Crawford lived up to his less than extraordinary expectation as a selfish offensive player and nothing more.
This season, Crawford got another chance. Rondo has been sidelined, and Crawford found himself as Boston's starting point guard. He gave the team quality minutes all season as he showed the basketball world that he's grown into a much better player.
Now, he's gone. Boston dealt Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors in a three-team deal that landed Joel Anthony and a few meaningless draft picks. The Miami Heat sent the Celtics backup big man Joel Anthony, a second-round pick, and a heavily protected first-round pick that will likely turn into a second-round pick in a few years.
After successfully showcasing Crawford all year, this is what the Celtics get in return? Joel Anthony and some late draft picks? It's awfully hard to see exactly where the value is.
Crawford has proven to be a guard capable of serving as a great backup on a contender. The Warriors will likely utilize him at both guard positions, which has been a position of need for the team all year.
Joel Anthony brings almost nothing to the Celtics. Acquiring him was clearly just a way of getting the deal done, as the Heat were looking to shed some salary. He likely won't play much, as he doesn't fit into the team's plans. What exactly do the Celtics think they will be able to get with these second-round draft picks? Some players for the D-League?
Combo guards that can provide an offensive spark off the bench tend to be a hot commodity around the league. Coaches always want someone like this off their bench, as it helps hedge risk against injuries, foul trouble, matchup problems, etc. With this in mind, it's hard to believe Danny Ainge couldn't have gotten a little more value out of this deal. Everyone knew Golden State needed a backup guard, and this is what you come away with?
Rondo is expected to be back soon, which obviously made Crawford expendable. It's fine that the Celtics traded him, but exactly what they traded him for makes Danny Ainge the loser in this deal.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering New England sports for various blogs over the past 4 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
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- Joel Anthony