A minor in star-clout but potentially influential three-team deal went down on Wednesday. Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report that the Boston Celtics have sent guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors. Golden State sent disappointing guard Toney Douglas to Miami, who in turn re-routed center Joel Anthony to the Celtics. The Celtics will also receive a conditional first round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers, which was in Miami’s possession.
This does seem a little strange for Boston general manager Danny Ainge, because while we respect Joel Anthony’s ability to move his feet defensively, he’s an absolute zero offensively and does not rebound well enough for a small forward, let alone a center that doesn’t score. To echo that absolution, he is an absolute certainty to pick up his player option for next season at $3.8 million, and while that isn’t a terribly onerous deal, it does add payroll to a team looking to rebuild with salary cap space and draft picks – as Jordan Crawford is set to be a restricted free agent this summer, and MarShon Brooks is an unrestricted free agent.
It’s true that the C’s are technically owed Philadelphia’s first round pick by way of the Heat, but it’s protected for the top 14 picks this year and next, and then turns into a pair of second round picks if the Sixers miss the playoffs both years. The 76ers probably aren’t making the postseason next year and they’re certainly missing it this year, so the Celtics basically paid $3.8 million for a pair of high end second rounders.
Hey, it’s Danny Ainge’s team. He can do what he wants, and value what he values. The man certainly knows how to draft.
For Golden State? The Toney Douglas experiment, for various reasons, sadly did not work out. Crawford and Brooks are gunners, but they’ll help take some shot creation responsibility away from an often-weary Stephen Curry, and add some punch to what has been a surprisingly middling (ranked 14th in offensive efficiency) offense in 2013-14. Crawford has bounced around, but he has earned praise at his last two stops, as he genuinely developed into a helpful player under Brad Stevens in Boston.
New Miami guard Toney Douglas, on his fifth NBA team since 2012, has perfected the art of bouncing around; but if he can regain his shooting stroke and stop relying so heavily on three-pointers, this is a player that can truly help the defending champs. You see these sorts of deals all the time that result in rotation-level players being left to the side because of a midseason trade and lack of a training camp, but if Douglas can adhere to the Miami Way quickly, and start to contribute as he did for Sacramento last year or New York some years before, this could be a terrific pickup.
And all for a center in Anthony they weren’t using, and a first round pick they were never going to get. Not only that, the team will save a ton in both payroll and luxury taxes this year and next, as they prepare to attempt re-sign LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade this summer.
It’s really not fair, Miami. Next thing you’ll tell us is that Greg Oden has been dominant in practice and that he’s ready to start this weekend.
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