The offseason is here for the Boston Celtics, and in just a couple of months, they will begin the process of putting next year’s team together. We will take a look at the current Celtics and try to figure out what to do with each of them. We continue today with Jordan Crawford.
Leandro Barbosa’s injury was the tipping point for the Celtics this season. After Rajon Rondo (and Jared Sullinger) went down, they managed to cobble together a nice run with the remaining players. Barbosa’s added minutes unleashed a little bit of bench offense…… until he too went down with a season-ending ACL injury.
Enter Jordan Crawford, brought to the Celtics to fill that void, and possibly help the Celtics find some sort of offensive flow. He was a starter earlier this season for the Washington Wizards, and had a stretch of double-digit performances in 17 of 19 games (including nine 20+ point games). The problem is… he shot 41.5% there.
That bad shooting followed him from Washington, but the scoring numbers did not because he rarely got enough minutes to turn up the volume on his shooting.
So what do the Celtics do with a 24 year-old offense-only player on a his rookie deal? Let’s see…
Crawford makes $2,162,419. That’s certainly not going to make any splashes in the trade market. He’s a career 40% shooter, which isn’t exactly encouraging. And his most memorable playoff moment was this:
So what I’m saying is that Crawford alone doesn’t have a whole lot of trade value.
He does, however, have a little value as a cheap “throw-in” guy to make a bigger trade work (even wild scenarios in a desperate attempt for size). If a team is acquiring someone in a deal from the Celtics that they really want, they can pay Crawford $2.1 million as an end-of-bench guy.
The Celtics can do this with few tricks. They can put him on waivers, and if a team claims him, then they’re out from under his deal. If he doesn’t get claimed off waivers, he almost certainly will get signed to a cheaper deal that minimizes the impact of the cap hit. In a worst-case scenario, the Celtics pay him $2.1 million to go away, and he ends up playing overseas.
Still, the most realistic result under this scenario is him clearing waivers, signing a minimum wage deal with some team willing to take a cheap chance on a young guy, and the C’s being on the hook for somewhere just north for $1 million.
Well, they could, technically, extend him. It’s the exact same scenario as Avery Bradley with slightly different cap numbers. Crawford’s QO is only $300,000 less than Bradley’s.
But I don’t think the Celtics are going down this road with Crawford. It makes no sense.
Keep him (without extending him)
He’s still 24. He’s not making a lot of money. He theoretically could fill in in a pinch if a guy goes down with a sprained ankle or something. The Celtics might see him as a cheap option to sit at the end of the bench during a transition year. If you’re talking about a 9th or 10th man, I suppose you could do worse. However the Celtics are constructed next season, there’s a good chance Crawford, if kept, would not sniff the floor unless it’s an emergency or a blowout.
After that, there’s no reason to make the qualifying offer. The Celtics could just pass on that, make Crawford a free agent, and say “it’s not you, it’s us” as they break up for good next summer.
This is only if Ted’s Army’s Aaron Gettings was running the team. Well, maybe not only him… I’m sure he’s not alone.
So to recap…
- The Celtics could dangle him in a trade either alone, or, more likely, as part of a larger deal.
- The Celtics could eat a little bit of salary and waive him.
- They could extend his contract
- The Celtics could just bring him back for one more season
Let’s just forget about the contract extension, ok?
I’m all for Jordan’s departure from Boston. If it’s via trade, great. If he’s waived? Fine. I’m happy to make fun of him from afar.
If the Celtics are in no mood to eat salary, then I can stomach Crawford as Gino’s dance partner at points in games where his ridiculous shots can be the source of our amusement rather than the source of our ulcers. Because, honestly, the value of Crawford to the Celtics is more comedic than anything. Mr. Weed Socks is not someone I want to depend on for anything meaningful in a game. But the Twitter jokes are easier with him around.
So my preference is for Crawford to be sent packing. The only justification for keeping him is the “we could do worse in the ‘break glass in case of emergency’ department, and Wyc isn’t spending one cent more than he absolutely has to until we have a legitimate shot at winning it all again” argument.
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