Let's get right to it, fellas.
1) Jordan Crawford was traded for Leandro Barbosa's and Jason Collins's expiring contracts. Good or bad deal for the Wiz? Give a grade: A-F.
BNIE: F, easily. It's hard to watch a young player with potential get dumped, I mean, we can't even call this a salary dump. Barbosa is out for the year. Retaining him is pointless: how does he fit in with the Wizards defensive identity? Ernie Grunfeld practically amnestied JC. These are the kinds of yankee-swap deals fans expect Grunfeld to 'win' and this is an epic, epic fail.
JKhan15: F. I'm not a fan of Crawford's game, but this is a little ridiculous. I just don't see a positive to this trade. Crawford was on a cheap contract, so the Wizards shouldn't have been forced to move him for monetary reasons. They save a little bit of money on expiring contracts, but I don't see that being a difference-maker in improving the team because of all the other big contracts. I also find it hard to believe that Crawford had reached the point of completely poisoning the locker room, which could force the Wizards to unload him for nothing. And even if nobody around the league wanted him, his contract is so cheap that there is no reason to force yourself into trading him away for two players who won't play and won't be here next year.
Jeff: D, only because he wasn't traded for Pierre, Swaggy P or Seven Day Dray. But seriously, there's no way in #WittmansDoghouse that the best they could have gotten for Steez was $2 million in cap space and a half-year of Jason Collins. I've been critical of JCraw, but I would have preferred merely hanging onto him and seeing if he ever wised up, because he does have ability and potential as a bench scorer, a role he'll inevitably blossom into in Boston.
Mike: I'll give it a D. The only reason I'm not giving it an F is that this could provide enough savings to pay Martell Webster, use the mid-level exception and still pay for the team's first-round draft pick without going over the luxury tax. I'm not holding my breath that the Wizards end up doing all of that, though. Most likely, this provides a little more financial cushion for Ted Leonsis, and that's not much for fans to get excited about.
Thomas: C- They traded a guy who they weren't going to play for two guys who they aren't going to play, so the on-court product really isn't affected. Crawford has value as a bench scorer, but he's nowhere near good enough to contribute to this or any team if he's loafing on defense. That said, you don't give away an asset without getting at least something in return, and under ideal circumstances, you'd get someone who's more talented than Crawford and a better fit for the team. Barbosa and Collins would have been great pickups in 2006. In 2013? Not so much.
Amin: D-. Glad JCraw is probably happy, but you don't trade a guy on his rookie deal for cap space and another big to stick in the logjam.
2) Good or bad deal for the Celtics? Give a grade: A-F.
BNIE: A. Leandro Barbosa wasn't giving their second unit real punch when on the court, is out anyway and is expiring at the end of the year. Jordan Crawford gives Danny Ainge another rookie who can grease a trade as the Celtics rebuild while giving Doc Rivers a situational player his veteran heavy roster can handle without difficulty and perhaps groom in the Nate Robinson mold. This is all upside for the Celtics. They get younger, a trade asset, and have no reason to expect a drop-off in the on-court product, though losing a bit of crucial front-line depth. Ernie, you just got Ainge'd.
JKhan15: A. Hey, free player! The Celtics need offense, and Crawford can potentially help with that. And they didn't have to trade away anything of substance to get him. Now the Celtics have a young player on his rookie contract. If he develops, great; if not, let him go. There's no real downside for Boston here.
Jeff: A, because they essentially gave up nothing for a cheap, capable scorer. He can either help out the Celtics or be packaged in a trade next season. Either way, the Celtics traded two non-assets for one decent asset. Danny Ainge should apologize to Ernie Grunfeld, kind of like how Sollozzo apologized to Michael for having his father shot.
Mike: B+ for me. They get something for nothing, though I do wonder how Crawford will handle playing in that environment. At worst, he can provide what Leandro Barbosa did before he got dealt.
Thomas: B. They got something for nothing, and that something just happens to fit their team perfectly. Crawford's disgruntled, but if Doc Rivers can keep Rondo more or less in check (I think he does a worse job of this than people realize, but whatevs), he can make Crawford hustle and take fewer halfcourt threes off thet dribble with 15 seconds left on the shot clock. He'll actually fit really well with Avery Bradley, so well that it's mildly shocking that Grunfeld couldn't squeeze at least a second rounder out of Boston.
Amin: B. Crawford isn't a great player, but he has a good skillset for a halfcourt player. He will score a lot for them, and he'll help carry the assist load. Oh, he also happens to score the 3rd most points per isolation possession in the league (behind Kyrie and LeBron, with at least 100 possessions). So again, he will get the some points.
3) Are these two expiring league minimum contracts better than DNP-CDing him for the rest of eternity?
BNIE: Yes. If DNP-CDing him is the only option we're talking about. It gives the Wiz a touch more cap room next season and the next Fabricio Oberto. God, I hate this trade.
JKhan15: Well I guess if the ONLY choice is to have Crawford sulking on the bench, I'd rather have the expiring contracts. But I can't believe that this relationship went that sour that quickly.
Jeff: OK, fine, if the two choices are a) a couple million in cap space or b) DNP Crawford until he leaves for nothing, I'll take the cap space, but I seriously doubt this was the best the Wizards could do for a guy whom it was widely reported was drawing interest from multiple teams.
Mike: I still think it would have been better to keep sitting Crawford until he learned his lesson. This is as low as he'll be worth as an asset, and even if he has chemistry issues, Wittman would have kept sending the message that Crawford's behavior is not acceptable. It'd be one thing if Crawford was pouting and still playing, but if he's pouting and not playing, what harm is there in him infecting the locker room?
Thomas: No. Barbosa will save the team one or two million dollars, while Crawford could have likely brought a late first rounder or early second round draft pick if Washington hadn't been so blatantly desperate to get rid of him.
Amin: Maybe? I don't know. There's a chance he would have graduated from Wittman's Tough Love Academy and re-entered the rotation. But alas, no more.
4) Do you like this deal better or worse than the Fab Melo one that was floating around earlier? Did Ernie Grunfeld get his Brazilians confused?
BNIE: Worse, and yes. But that depends on whether or not Ernie has some kind of plan in which that extra cap space proves critical (REALLY REACHING HERE). Adding another project (a Syracuse defensive prospect? riiiiiiiiight) sounded less than ideal, but fit with my earlier estimation on what a JCraw trade would bring. Namely, a one-dimensional player with upside on a rookie deal. But the deal as it stands is a straight dump, at least Melo would have been a theoretical trade asset.
JKhan15: I don't have faith in Fab Melo, but a 7-footer with one discernible skill on a rookie contract is much better than two players who should (will?) be cut. I hope Ernie checked if Neymar was available before settling for this.
Jeff: Yes, but only because Melo could then be used down the line as a theoretical trade chip. And who knows, maybe he actually develops behind Nene and we've got legit 7-foot center for awhile. Worst case scenario: Melo gives you nothing. Actual case scenario: Barbosa and Collins give you nothing.
Mike: Actually, better, but mostly because I think investing any resources into Fab Melo is a bad idea. He's a 22-year old big man that is as far away from being a legitimate NBA player as anyone in the league, and he has a guaranteed contract for three more years. He's not worth the resources.
Thomas: No, it's terrible in comparison. Melo has the size and length to protect the rim without needing to gamble, something that no one else on the team can really say. Okafor gets his share of blocked shots, but Melo appears to be taller and longer. The team actually does have a need for a player like him, and Nene, Okafor and Seraphin ahead of him, the team could bring him along slowly or even send him to the D-League for a while.
Amin: Worse. I like Fab Melo, and I think he would have gotten better under fellow countryman Nene. But he still would have gotten caught in that big man logjam. At least Ernie didn't add salary after this year?
5) What do you think would have been a better (and mutually beneficial deal) for Crawford today?
BNIE: Well, a Mavericks deal would likely have been preferable. Jae Crowder, for instance. Though I rather would have DRAFTED him...
JKhan15: Pretty much anything anybody suggested in the previous Crawford discussion would have sufficed. A second round pick, a backup point guard, whatever.
Jeff: Ugh. Pretty much anything that was rumored prior to the actual trade going down. Brandan Wright intrigued me, but I doubt that would have actually happened. Then again, a few teams gave away useful players (Maynor and Brewer come to mind) for practically nothing, so maybe it's not that surprising we got so little for Crawford?
Mike: Clearly, the offers for Steez were barely functional, but I would have liked to see the Wizards draw the line at a useful future draft pick. If they didn't receive that kind of offer, they should have held Crawford and not dealt him when his value was lowest.
Thomas: Steez for Fab Melo or a heavily protected and/or late first rounder. The Lakers could have probably used him.
Amin: Well, since Maynor got traded today, I wish we could have gotten him. If it were a 3way deal with Portland, I'm sure all the Portland NBA hipsters would have loved the Steez era. Plus they'd finally have someone who could score off the bench.
6) On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the Steeziest, how much will you miss the Steez?
BNIE: 6. They broke the mold when they made Jordan Crawford.
JKhan15: 2. I found Ricky Davis more entertaining than Crawford. He's no Ricky Davis. I did love his shoes though, always had interesting, non-mainstream choices.
Jeff: As a blogger who will miss working 'Steez' into every possible headline, 5. As a player, right now it's a 2. On some level, it was fun screaming "NOOOO...OK fine, but don't ever take that shot again!!" at the TV whenever Crawford was in the game. But it's a virtual certainty that a few years from now it'll be a 5, when Stahz is a staw in Bawstin.
Mike: 3. I never liked his game, but I grew to appreciate some of the things he was able to do on the court and I thought he made improvements offensively before being shown the end of the bench.
Thomas: He's fun to watch, but honestly, probably around a 1.5. His shot selection and lack of defensive ability or effort was absolutely maddening. He also struck me as one of those guys who would never be able to make it as a legitimate player as long as he was in Washington, and being reminded that your favorite team is incapable of developing young talent isn't fun.
Amin: Well since I am in the background of one of his swag/Steez locker room photoshoots on Instagram, I'll miss him a lot. 5.
What do you guys think of the trade? Take the poll, and sound off in the comments.