Ah, trade rumors.
Whether we love ‘em or hate ‘em, there will be plenty of rumors swirling around the Boston Celtics this season. We all know how Boston was rumored to be on the verge of acquiring Omer Asik this week in exchange for Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee (and a draft pick), and my co-editor here at Hardwood Houdini, Michael Sykes, has already written about the trade rumors and possibilities that surround Boston Celtics point guard, Rajon Rondo.
I’m here today to tell you that the player the Celtics should seriously consider shopping around the NBA is Mr. Steez himself, Jordan Crawford.
Let me backtrack a little bit first. A few weeks ago, I made the case that Crawford could be the first player in Boston Celtics history to win the Most Improved Player award. Obviously, in order for Crawford to do that, he would have to remain a Celtic for the entire year. I have no problem with him remaining on the roster for the entire 2013-2014 season, since he has been filling in for Rondo admirably . . . but I’m not blinded by his entertainment value, either. The way Crawford is playing translates into value for a team that wants to win its 18th NBA Championship before I die, so I say, if the opportunity presents itself, the Boston Celtics should pull the trigger on a trade sending Crawford out of town.
Two reasons why. For starters, let’s ground ourselves in reality: Jordan Crawford is not Rajon Rondo. I think we can all agree that no NBA coach who wishes to retain his job would start Crawford at point guard over Rondo, which means that Rondo’s return will signal the end of Crawford’s career as a starter at point guard for the Boston Celtics. (And Crawford being the defensive liability that he is, there is zero chance of him sliding over to the two guard and sending Avery Bradley to the bench.) I appreciate the fact that Crawford is responding to coach Brad Stevens and seems to be grateful that Stevens and the Celtics have given him a chance, but will his appreciation remain once he’s coming off of the bench? Crawford complained that he wasn’t getting enough playing time in Washington, and that was after John Wall had resumed the starting point guard position. I believe Crawford wants to be a starter – and why wouldn’t he? – so Boston cannot expect him to be okay with playing second fiddle to Rondo for very long. Eventually, the good times will come to an end, and the Celtics will have an unhappy guard on their hands.
Now, for reason number two: Crawford is a gunner deep down at heart. Never met a shot he didn’t like. So far this season, Celtics fans have forgiven the obligatory 30-foot heaves Crawford attempts at least once per game, because Steez has been dishing the rock a little bit and has had some really nice offensive moments. Don’t be fooled, though; Crawford hasn’t changed his game all that much. The other night against the Pistons, Crawford attempted 15 shots, making only 4 and shooting 1 from 7 behind the arc. In his most recent game against the Knicks, Crawford went 0-for-8 from the field, and in his first game against New York, he attempted 12 3-balls. Twelve. Yes, he made six – but as I pointed out in my recap, watching him hoist that many shots from deep is never a good sign. He’s only shot 50% or better from the floor in 3 of his last 9, and eventually the love affair with the Boston faithful is going to be over.
If Boston is looking to make a trade, then, now is the time to do so. Crawford has never played better, and the Celtics still have holes to fill. The Celtics’ lack of size and inside muscle was badly exposed by the Brooklyn Net’s Brooke Lopez, so Danny Ainge could use Crawford to address that need. Or, Boston could try to move its way into the top ten of the upcoming draft by shipping Crawford and another piece to a team for draft picks. We could throw out all sorts of possibilities, but the bottom line is this: while the Celtics would be insane to trade Rondo right now (unless it was for Chris Paul!), Jordan Crawford has enough value that Boston should consider moving him while they can. Eventually, he is either going to shoot his way out of favor, become disgruntled with his role as Rondo’s backup, or both, none of which will help his trade value. The iron is hot; now would be the perfect time to strike.
I would love to know your thoughts on the topic, so leave your comments below, or hit me up on Twitter @theamazingMrS!