The trade deadline has come and gone for the Wizards, ultimately resulting in the dismissal of what had become a diminished talent, in exchange for a torn ACL, two expiring contracts, and a polarized fan base.
Jordan Crawford was dealt to the Boston Celtics this afternoon in a trade that landed Leandro Barbosa, who is inactive for the rest of the season with a torn ACL but sitting on an expiring contract. Jason Collins, also in the final year of his contract, was traded for as well. Both players are due the veteran minimum of approximately $850,000.
While fans are expressing their discontent for what may be noted as another managerial mishap, the fact of the matter is there’s only so much you can do with a cheap contract for a player that holds very little value – whether he was benched in his last few games or not.
Did coach Wittman recently devalue Crawford by making a plant out of him on the far side of the bench? Yeah, perhaps. But to what extent? How much more would have Crawford been worth if he had continued playing and selfishly jacking up shots, scoring barely 14 points per game and stalling an emerging offense that had just gained some fluidity?
Let’s face it: Wittman’s benching of Crawford wasn’t solely based on the front office’s intent to trade him but it was also based on the fact that Crawford simply wore out his presence on the floor -- thanks in most part to his ankle injury which subsequently paved the way for John Wall and Bradley Beal’s emergence in the back court. We all know Crawford is the type of player that needs the ball in his hands more so than not in order to be effective. He’s been grilled for it since he was acquired from Atlanta two seasons ago. His ISO-heavy offense creates a lack of chemistry on the floor, his shot selection had become the leading cause of indigestion in the Metro area, and his defense is questionable at best.
I’ve mentioned this time and again: to most Wizards fans Crawford was viewed as a high-valued player simply because he had been able to recklessly find ways to score the basketball on what had been a stagnant Wizards offense that couldn’t get those scoring opportunities elsewhere. To many of us (myself included at times), that crowned Crawford as a legitimate scoring threat, while others saw right through it, including coach Wittman and the Celtics, obviously.
In return for Crawford, the Wizards get two expiring contracts in Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins – NOT Fab Melo, which also sparked some rage from fans after there were rumors of Melo being included in the deal.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure Danny Ainge was all about trading his 2012 first-round pick for JORDAN CRAWFORD. Let’s keep it real, folks.
Collins, now in his 13th season, may be in position to provide some grown man insight to some of the developing big men on the roster, notably Kevin Seraphin. Meanwhile, Barbosa aka the Brazilian Blur should be good for some solid water-cooler conversation with Nene from time to time.
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.