Though big name players like Josh Smith and J.J. Redick were reportedly linked to the Wizards at the Trade Deadline, President and General Manager Ernie Grunfeld made just one small move on Thursday, dealing a disgruntled Jordan Crawford to the Boston Celtics for veteran guard Leandro Barbosa and forward Jason Collins. The trade should not come as a surprise to fans who have been following the team recently, since Crawford saw his minutes cut dramatically with the return of John Wall to lineup and rookie Bradley Beal finding his rhythm. The former Xavier guard had been visibly frustrated on the bench, and even entered coach Randy Wittman’s so-called “doghouse,” meaning he stopped receiving any court action whatsoever over the last few games.
For the Celtics, acquiring Crawford is a huge win. During the month of December, he averaged 19.1 points per game, easily leading the team, as well as 5.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists. He is not afraid to shoot, but is also somewhat unselfish with the basketball. Crawford performed well Friday in his first game off the bench for Boston, scoring 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting in a lopsided Celtics victory. He could be a critical factor if Doc Rivers and co. hope to continue a playoff run without superstar point guard Rajon Rondo.
As for the Wizards, this will come down as another insignificant, pitiable move during a horrid Ernie Grunfeld tenure. Barbosa is in fact out for the season with a torn ACL and doesn’t plan to report to DC any time soon. Collins’ veteran mentality could potentially help the Wizards for the future, but then again he’s never averaged more than 6.4 points in a season over his 11-year career. Nevertheless, the Wizards save about $2 million in cap space as a result of the move and with that money could end up resigning Martell Webster this offseason.
Washington earned an impressive 119-113 victory Friday in the team’s first official game without Crawford, taking a season sweep of the Nuggets behind double-digit scoring from seven Wizards players. The ‘Zards hope to carry their momentum into Saturday as James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and the new-look Rockets take their talents to the Verizon Center.