Will Jordan Crawford be able to fill the void?
Minutes before the trade deadline hit the NBA, The Boston Celtics sent injured guard Leandro Barbosa to the Washington Wizards in exchange for shooing guard Jordan Crawford. This trade comes on the heels of reports that the Celtics were exploring the idea that rookie Fab Melo would be the one headed to Washington, not Barbosa. With Barbosa on season ending IR, Washington is receiving a project, as the timetable for Barbosa’s return is unsure. Boston takes over Crawford, who had filled in admirably playing the point in John Wall’s absence.
While this deal is by no means headline news, it will immediately impact Boston’s need for offensive ball handlers. Crawford’s experience at the point will take some of the pressure of Courtney Lee and Paul Pierce, who have assumed ball distribution duties in Rondo’s absence. The scouting report on Crawford is as follows:
Decisive shooter who takes terrible shots. Capable passer when mood strikes.
Very quick, good ball handling. Can finish, but poor long-range shooter.
Bad defender. Undersized for a 2. Must improve effort and strength.
Don’t let the negative traits scare you. Giving up a player who is going to be this entire season for a player who can contribute immediately tells us that Ainge still wants to win this season. Over the course of this season Barbosa seemed to mesh well with the Boston players, and “The Blur” will definitely be missed. However, with Boston’s depth really taking a hit Crawford comes game ready and will be able to fill Barbosa’s shoes with ease.
This was not the big deadline deal that Boston fans were hoping (or not hoping) for, but it fills a hole that was present without having to give up any immediate pieces. Not a bad deal for the Celtics, who will now look to available free agents (Kenyon Martin, Delonte West, AI??) to fill the rest of the void. The speculation is over, now its time for the race to the finish.