COMMENTARY | Following the devastating injury to Rajon Rondo, some expected the Boston Celtics to be big time sellers at the trade deadline. Rumors had been circulating that Danny Ainge could enter a fire sale, trading all of the team's veterans to acquire young assets and draft picks. Of course, that would have meant that the Celtics were ready to give up on this season. And that clearly isn't the case.
Reports were flying about Kevin Garnett heading to the Los Angeles Clippers for some sort of package centered around young point guard Eric Bledsoe, and there are plenty of teams who can use a veteran scorer in Paul Pierce to assist in a deep playoff run. Pulling the trigger on these kind of deals seems easy as an outsider, but it's tough to do so when a team responds to a challenge the way the Celtics have.
In a move that showed the team's true motives, Ainge swung a deal with the Washington Wizards to bring guard Jordan Crawford to Boston for Jason Collins and the injured Leandro Barbosa. In giving up practically nothing, the Celtics added a undoubtedly talented scorer to fortify their backcourt.
But was this a good move?
The Wizards had clearly had enough of Crawford. He didn't log a single minute in his final four games with the team, and was certainly in the doghouse. The criticism on him is simple; all he can do is score. He doesn't play defense, isn't the type of player that can keep the ball moving in an offense, and isn't much of a rebounder.
You get flashes of high quality basketball from the 24 year-old that shows why he's in the league. He is not efficient by any stretch of the word; he has never shot better than 42% from the field. Crawford, so far, has been the definition of a high volume scorer. He can fill it up, but it won't be pretty.
To his defense, Washington is one of the worst places in the league to grow your game. We've seen countless promising players over the years fade away in D.C., and Jordan Crawford was on that list.
With that in mind, he has never been surrounded by presences as strong as Pierce, Garnett, and Doc Rivers. You have to believe Crawford will take at least some small steps to becoming a better player while he's in Boston. And if he doesn't, he'll be buried at the end of the bench.
Although he can handle the ball a little, Jordan Crawford does not provide the natural point guard help that this team needs. What he does provide is a potentially explosive scorer off the bench that the Celtics have not had in this era. For a team that often painfully struggles in their half-court sets, Crawford can be a huge asset.
This does not make up for the loss of Rondo by any stretch, or even boost the Celtics tier in the NBA power rankings. But the move gives them another option at guard, and the cost of acquiring Crawford was practically nothing.
Applaud Danny Ainge for sticking with his guys and doing all he can to maximize their chances. Even if those chances are very small.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering the Celtics for 3 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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