Not much going on in Wizards land, eh gang? Well, other than Jordan Crawford being traded away for less than bag of peanuts. Oh, and the return of JaVale McGee to the Phone Booth. Other than than that, nothing at all.
For today's Wrap, we're going to roundup reaction to the Crawford trade from across the interwebs (Spoiler: Everyone is confused by it) and drop in a few regular links towards the end, so be patient.
Of course, we here at BF have the Steez trade covered forwards and backwards, from an editors' roundtable grading the trade to its salary cap implications. Jake took a look at the Steeziest moments of Crawford's time in D.C., and Mike even paid a visit to Celtics Blog to answer their readers' questions. Be sure to check out our StoryStream for full and ongoing coverage of the trade, and without further ado:
"The problem with dealing Crawford for scraps isn't so much that he's worth more than what Washington got, it's that Washington allowed him to be devalued to the point where the gruesome twosome of Jason Collins and Leandro Barbosa was the best the front office could do. As he so famously reminded the world a few weeks ago, Crawford averaged 19 points, five rebounds and six assists for the month of December. Regardless of his efficiency or lack thereof, there aren't too many players on their rookie deals that are capable of producing at that level."
"The Wizards (15-37) could've decided to showcase Crawford rather than sit him in his last four games, but the team was thriving in his absence and cost himself the chance for more minutes with his more-questionable-than-normal shot selection. He earned his benching and forced the Wizards' hand when he spent his final game in a Wizards uniform making a scene with his exaggerated lean and angrily throwing his jersey into the stands afterward."
Weidie: "It really is a shoulder shrugger (and a head-shaker). I mean, I care. I'll miss Jordan Crawford. I wish he would have been a better player. I wish that the relationship between him and the franchise didn't go down in such an epic, flaming bag of shit. But it did. Fighting off the desire to not overreact, but something is amiss with how this team handles players (not all players, mind you). Everyone in the league seems to know it and the owner seems completely oblivious to it."
Mobley: "Crawford certainly did not do himself any favors with his recent pouting, his inability to step up when Beal was injured and his always questionable shot selection. But, by Ted Leonsis' own admission (a month ago today, I might add), Crawford was thrust in the unfamiliar role of being a playmaker and a team leader at the start of the season, while still attempting to do what he did best, which was to score, score and score again. Once Bradley Bealemerged and John Wall returned, Crawford struggled a bit, as Kyle pointed out today, and that led to frustration and eventually today's trade."
Fagan: "What you have is a culture of enabling that turns most of the Wizards' young players sour before they have a chance to ripen. Andray Blatche falls in love with his jumper. Nick Young goes away from his career year and decides that he can play one-on-one again despite all evidence to the contrary. JaVale McGee continued to JaVale McGee. Each became a scapegoat, and each was sent on his way out of town. Now Crawford joins a long list of former Wizards who probably have less than laudatory things to say about the organization. So before we judge Jordan Crawford to be a selfish jerk who didn't do the necessary work to earn the PT, maybe we should ask what made him a selfish jerk in the first place."
Dirks: "When the Wizards acquired Jordan Crawford from the Atlanta Hawks in a deal for Kirk Hinrich two years ago, many believed they had acquired something for nothing. Today, they made good on the karmic balance, and shipped Jordan Crawford to Boston for (apologies to "Dwight Stopper" Jason Collins) nothing. I'm not sure that Crawford "had" to go, but go he did. Washington saves a modest, but potentially significant, amount of money next year, and Crawford joins a burgeoning group of exiled Washington players who didn't see eye-to-eye with the club."
McGinnis: "We will never know exactly what went down for Crawford to go from being a factor in keeping this undermanned squad competitive for the first few months to him becoming a disposable team pariah after key players returned and everyone started to play better. Crawford's contributions helped keep Wittman from the firing squad in December when the Wiz were in games, but could not close them out. Wittman got a pass from critics in a large part due to Crawford's versatility."
Kevin Jones - WUSA9 (this, btw, is definitely the winner of today's "Tell Us How You Really Feel" prize)
"But let me paint you the bloody truth about Crawford and why this deal was bound to happen: he was the laziest defender on the roster, the one who didn't give a flying f*** about winning, or team chemistry. You can let someone like Monta Ellis or Deron Williams get away with behavior like that. But not Jordan Crawford.
Jordan Crawford was the last piece of shrapnel left over from the knucklehead Wizards era. Crawford was never as big of a cancer as Andray Blatche or JaVale McGee, but his irrational persona had become a misfit puzzle piece. Certain players don't value winning. Crawford was that way in D.C. Maybe he will change in Boston while surrounded by savvy veterans. Maybe not."
"How exactly do you move a rotation player on a rookie deal for a journeyman center and a player with a season-ending injury without receiving any other assets and take on money (albeit only a few hundred thousand) in the process? Who cares how inefficient Crawford is or disgruntled he might be; how does this move benefit Washington in the slightest? Shedding his $2.2 million contract for next season would seem to be of little concern when, by comparison, the twin powerless towers of Emeka Okafor/Nene pull in a combined $27 million.
There really wasn't a second-round pick to be found for Crawford? It really wouldn't make more sense to just wait until the summer and try to move him then?"
Simmons: "I didn't mind it ... they gave up someone who currently can't walk for him. My rule with these things is that, if the contracts are equal, you always want the guy who can walk over the guy who can't walk. Crawford belongs in that Nick Young/John Lucas/Nate Robinson group of Irrationally Irrational Confidence Guys, which is a level below the true Irrational Confidence Guys (Jamal Crawford, J.R. Smith, etc.). When he's hot, you ride him. When he's not, you sit him. Of course, Doc couldn't stand coaching Robinson. So this will be interesting. I've always had a soft spot for Crawford dating back to his Xavier days - there's always room in a 10-man rotation for someone who can catch fire NBA Jam-style, and he's one of the ultimate "no-no-no-YES!" shooters. Did you like the deal for Boston?"
Lowe: "Funny you mention Young - one league exec made this exact comparison to me just a couple of hours ago. Young was a crucial player in one pivotal playoff game last season - Game 1 in Memphis, the Clippers' massive comeback - and Crawford, for all his warts, may do something similar for Boston this season. His shot selection is egregious, he'll struggle to guard wing players, and the Wizards' offense has basically died when he's played the point this season. Point guard in Boston is a shared duty now, so hopefully the Celtics will never lean too heavily on Crawford in this way."
"The Wizards probably oversold their fans that Jordan Crawford was a franchise cornerstone, but they should've at least been able to exchange Crawford for a player who can, you know, play. Leandro Barbosa is out for the season and Jason Collins might as well be."
"Jordan Crawford is a better player than I thought they'd end up with once they chose the correct (and only suitable) path by keeping Celtics lifer Paul Pierce as opposed to just coldly sending Pierce somewhere he didn't want to be. When the Celts do decide to blow it up, as they say, Rajon Rondo is the one to trade. With Rondo out for the rest of the season, Boston made the right play. Crawford has been branded hard to coach, but Doc Rivers will fare far better than most."
"So, he's a character. One that can score, though, working on a tiny deal. For the price of absolutely nothing, he's worth a shot - 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 Rondo's 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 wasn't 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 you're desperate."
Ric Bucher, via CSN Washington (video linked):
Which leaves us with one last option: that Crawford was a bad guy. Or, at least, that his relationship with his co-workers (coaches, players, training staff, front office) had become so untenable that the only solution was to get him off the roster at any cost.
While this last option may be true, it still doesn't absolve the Wizards of making a bad trade -- and this was a bad trade. The team managed to take a 24-year old on a bargain-basement rookie contract who was having the best season of his career and trade him for absolutely nothing.
It's almost unbelievable.
"I obviously wish the Wizards had gotten something out of the deal, but at the end of the day, at least we've gotten rid of yet another head case. I'm hoping the Wizards could use the money saved in the deal to acquire another talented shooter in the off-season, much like they did Martell Webster."
"The loss of Crawford really doesn't mean a whole lot to the current Wizards. He wasn't playing and when he did, would not adjust to how Wittman wants the Wizards to play. Crawford is good at one thing: jacking shots. He doesn't care from where, how many, or the consequences. Crawford the player is inconsequential.
The salary cap relief is much more important to the Wizards, if they had anyone capable of using it correctly. GM Ernie Grunfeld seems to be adept at getting other teams to trade for his malcontented talent, but has routinely squandered the cap relief once he's acquired it."
All in all, this trade is virtually meaningless in terms of change within the team or the movement going forward. As noted, Crawford had been nonexistent over the course of his final six games in a Wiz uniform, a stretch in which the Wizards won four of those games.
So to everyone, I say: please just chill out.
"I just cannot seem to figure out a way that completely benching a player before you make it known that you would like to trade him makes any sense. It doesn't. It doesn't make sense from a business standpoint or from a basketball standpoint. That is like being the guy in fantasy football who tries to convince everyone that a certain player on their team who is not good has value and they should trade for him. If you know you are going to be trading a guy, or even thinking about it, why not try and "showcase" that player before making the deal? Let him get some extended run and hope he produces. It can't be any worse than how they actually handled it. The Wizards somehow did the complete opposite of what normal teams would do. They took a player who had value, destroyed that value, and then traded him for pennies on the dollar."
"Ainge turned a player who was out for the season -- Leandro Barbosa -- and another with limited usefulness -- Jason Collins -- into a high-volume scorer with two functioning ACLs. In a small way this is a coup: Crawford is averaging 13.2 points and almost four assists per game. He basically replaces Barbosa as an instant-offense creator off the bench who can handle the ball in a pinch."
"Boston essentially made a risk-free gamble to see if Crawford could salvage his NBA career. For the first time since entering the league, he has the chance to be a productive member of a playoff-caliber team, but it will ultimately be up to him to make the most of it."
Ernie Grunfeld, via Lee:
"Jordan did not fit into our current plans . . . or our future plans," Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said during a news conference to announce the trade. "At this time, we thought it was in the best interest of everyone if we make this trade. It will be a good situation for Jordan. He might get an opportunity to go to a better team and help them and it will allow us to continue on the path that we're trying to build in the locker room, with work ethic and team play, where everybody is on the same page and wanting to play for the same reasons. Being unselfish offensively and playing good, aggressive defense."
More from Grunfeld, via Monumental Network (video linked):
Randy Wittman, via Craig Stouffer of The Washington Examiner:
"It's just a situation, with John [Wall] coming back, the development of Bradley [Beal], the emergence of Martell [Webster], and Trevor [Ariza] playing and giving us what he is, it was a situation from a minutes standpoint that wasn't satisfactory for him. I felt we had a good thing going from our rhythm and playing and winning and doing things the right way and defending, that his role changed a little bit, and the minutes weren't going to quite be the same. I think he had a hard time with that. We felt this was the best thing to do moving forward."
"It's always disappointing when you have to make moves. It doesn't matter. In a perfect world, you'd like to have a perfect team, but those are things that, hey, we're in the real world. Then you have to make decisions that are best for the team. That's what you try to do. Is it disappointing? Yeah."
"There was still a situation for him to play and be a part. It wasn't going be probably the significant minutes that he wanted."
"Jordan Crawford's playing time had become limited, and he did not figure into our short-term or long-term plans. He will join a Boston team that has an immediate backcourt need due to injuries. In return we obtained Jason Collins, a 7-footer who has been part of two NBA Finals, and Leandro Barbosa, who will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. "
Here's how the Celtics themselves reacted, as reported by CSN New England's A. Sherrod Blakely:
"It's a perfect situation for him," C's guard Jason Terry told Comcast SportsNet. "We have a great veteran group of guys that definitely take the young guys under our wing. He's young. He's athletic. He can shoot. So we welcome the talent."
So does Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.
"He's a scorer," Rivers said. "And losing Barbosa who was our scorer off the bench, we really felt we needed to replace that. We needed another guard in general. We're hoping he can do that. Obviously I'm hoping this is a fresh start for him. He's had his good days and his bad days. We want him to have a lot of good days."
"When you got a young guy who has been around young players, it's hard for him to understand discipline; understand winning," Pierce said. "He hasn't really been around that. He's going to get a taste of it out here. It's a different pace, a different change; the attitude you have to have when you're around veteran leadership and winning."
- Sarah Kogod remembers her own favorite Jordan Crawford moments. [DC Sports Bog]
- Weidie takes a look at Steez's last five shots in a Wizards uniform. [Truth About It]
- Did I mention that tonight marks the return of #EpicVale? I can't wait, and neither can the guys over at Denver Stiffs.
- Sounds like Bradley Beal and Cartier Martin are both good to go tonight after bumping heads during Thursday's practice. [Wizards Insider]
- As many have pointed out on Twitter, Ted's Big 3 from a couple years ago is now down to two. [DC Sports Bog]
- Kevin Seraphin has posted a video of himself doing the Harlem Shake, because Kevin Seraphin is the greatest. [DC Sports Bog]