Celtics president Danny Ainge could’ve gone two ways at the NBA trade deadline — completely rebuilding or fortifying the current roster with precious few pieces to deal in return — and he appears to have chosen the latter.
In trading Jason Collins, his 8.1 personal fouls per 36 minutes and the injured Leandro Barbosa‘s expiring veteran minimum contract to the Wizards in exchange for Jordan Crawford, Ainge got the backcourt support he was looking for, partly at the expense of the team’s frontcourt depth.
In acquiring Crawford, the Celtics save a few hundred thousand dollars in salary and open another roster spot this season. They owe the 24-year-old shooting guard $2.1 million next year before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2014-15 — nothing too steep for a fourth guard option behind Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. Meanwhile, they hold on to The Fab Melo Project and inch closer to getting under the luxury tax line.
Considered a below average defender with poor shot selection, decent ball-handling skills and a knack for scoring in transition, Crawford is a poor man’s Barbosa, and since Ainge recently admitted players of Barbosa’s caliber aren’t available, he appears to be the best available option. The C’s weren’t going to get J.J. Redick at this price.