Well, the Warriors finally have their Jarrett Jack replacement. As announced this morning, the Warriors have acquired guard Jordan Crawford from the Boston Celtics in a three-team trade that will also send guard Toney Douglas to the Miami Heat. The Celtics will receive center Joel Anthony as well as a protected first round pick, and a 2016 second round pick. The Warriors will also obtain backup guard MarShon Brooks as part of the deal.
The Warriors acquired Crawford in the hopes that he’ll provide an upgrade to what has thus far been abysmal bench production. Crawford is an offense-first combo guard who could potentially give the Warriors instant scoring punch from the second unit, much like they received from Jack last year before he absconded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason.
Crawford had started 35 games this year for the Celtics, primarily as their two-guard. Averaging 30.7 minutes a game, Crawford scored 13.7 points per game on 41.4% shooting from the floor. He also established himself as a fairly adept passer, averaging a team-leading 5.7 assists per game. While his numbers have dipped a bit in January (he’s shooting just 35.9% for the month), the Warriors are hoping they’re getting the guy who averaged 15.5 points per game in twelve December starts. Crawford’s ability to create shots in isolation should give the Warriors a much-needed scorer behind their starters.
The trade should also have the added benefit of taking pressure off of Golden State’s starting backcourt. The high-scoring guard combo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have each averaged nearly 38 minutes per game, mostly because the team is getting very little help from the bench. The Warriors go into tonight’s game against Denver with a 25-14 record and appear to be headed for a late-season dogfight for playoff seeding in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. At this rate, even the young Curry and Thompson are in danger of becoming gassed in the second half due to the heavy minute load. If Crawford can step in and give the team twenty or so minutes off the bench at both guards positions, he’d help take off some of the scoring weight that the starting backcourt is now shouldering.
Crawford likely won’t suit up until Friday’s game in Oklahoma City at the earliest. His addition doesn’t bring a major financial burden, as the Warriors are only adding $1.7 million in salary. The team is still under the luxury tax threshold, as well, so another move to further upgrade the bench down the line is not out of the question.
Brooks, the other guard brought over from Boston, played in only ten games with the Celtics and spent most of his time this year in the D-League. A late first round pick in 2011, Brooks profiles somewhat as Jordan Crawford Lite, a shoot-first guard who can score in bunches when he’s on. His inability to develop a three-point stroke has stalled his NBA progress, though. If he shoots well enough at the outset, he might steal some minutes from Kent Bazemore.