Re: Jordan Crawford
posted at 2/21/2013 10:51 PM EST
A good, fair, article:
The Boston Celtics are currently 25th in the NBA in offensive efficiency, and about to enter the home stretch of the 2012-13 season without the teamâs best offensive facilitator in the injured Rajon Rondo. Desperate, and coming off of an embarrassing 14-point loss to the defenseless Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, the team went all-in for that gunniest of gunners, former Washington Wizards guardJordan Crawford.
The price? The expiring contract of a player in Leandro Barbosa that will be out for the rest of the season, and most of the next (presuming a team picks him up) with an ACL tear. That, and big manJason Collins -- who might be waived as Washington already boasts a sturdy, defensive-minded frontcourt. This is not what you would call a blockbuster.
Yahoo! Sportsâ Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report that the Câs were not sending young center Fab Melo to Washington, but Barbosa and veteran center Jason Collins instead. The deal ensures that Crawford will have a chance to chuck his way into Bostonâs good graces as they attempt to stem a recent three-loss in four-game swoon. Courtney Lee has disappointed this season in Boston, and Jason Terry hasnât played as well off the ball as heâs played on the ball at point guard this season, but this is still a last ditch attempt by Boston as the team attempts to not be forced into a few 72-point games when the playoffs start.
And for Washington? They wanted Crawford off of their roster and away from young guards John Wall and Bradley Beal so bad that they dealt for an expiring contract that actually wonât make much of an impact this summer. Itâs true that Barbosa (and, by extension, Jordan Crawfordâs relatively tiny rookie contract) will be off the Wizardsâ payroll come July 1, but the team isnât looking at any cap space this summer with the team already on pace to go just about up to the salary cap with only nine players on the roster.
For Boston? They take a flier on Crawford, securing him for the final two years of a tiny deal (under $1.2 million this year, over $2.1 next season before becoming a restricted free agent) to see if they can talk some sense into the guy.
Crawford can score, but only if heâs allowed to shoot a lot. Heâs the classic low-efficiency chucker â shooting 41 percent from the floor, a below-average mark from behind the arc, and rarely (3.4 times per 36 minutes) getting to the free throw line. He also averages 18.1 points per 36 minutes, but what does that matter when heâs taking 16.2 shots to get there, while working with plenty of chances in a Washington offense that currently ranks dead last in the NBA?
This is the guy that originally rose to fame by stuffing one over LeBron James in a confiscated video brouhaha from 2009. More recently, heâs made waves by telling reporters that he feels âlike Iâm better thanâ Michael Jordan, referring to himself as a âdominant scorerâ and underrated passer, and utilizing his scouting skills to tell us all that, yep, Kobe Bryant actually hisses while on the basketball court.
So, heâs a character. One that can score, though, working on a tiny deal. For the price of absolutely nothing, heâs worth a shot â even if the Celtics (who have taken chances in recent years on Stephon Marbury and Nate Robinson) stuff him on the end of that Ubuntu-bench by the time the playoffs roll around.
To that end, and with the Celtics keeping the core intact even with Rondoâs departure, the move makes sense. The team has the option to shun the 24-year old, or turn him into something that helps. For the price of a player that wasnât ever going to wear a Celtic uniform again, it makes sense.
If the Celtics are expecting anything major from Crawford right away, and before that attitude and shot selection overhaul, they might be left wanting. This is how things work, when youâre desperate.