The Golden State Warriors completed a three-team trade in which they sent out Toney Douglas and received Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks in the transaction. The Warriors World staff goes 3-on-3 and provides reactions.
1. Warriors were linked to Andre Miller and Kirk Hinrich in trade rumors, but ultimately acquired Jordan Crawford to play backup point guard (unless another side move is in the works). Reaction from trade: surprised, shocked or merely raised an eyebrow ?
Danny Leroux: Once the Bulls traded Luol Deng for the husk of Andrew Bynum to get under the luxury tax, the Warriors lost all leverage to get Kirk Hinrich without giving up assets. Once getting him with a trade exception did not save Chicago a boatload of cash, something else needed to be involved and Golden State has no picks to trade so I effectively wrote off that deal.
Andre Miller makes a little more money and thus would have been somewhat more complicated but potentially more possible since Denver appears more willing to move him. In fact, a Miller trade could still happen if the Nuggets really want to move him without getting a piece in return thanks to the eternal magic of trade exceptions.
With those two off the board for the time being, Jordan Crawford was not super surprising though the timing was a little bit of a shock, as was the low-price tag and getting MarShon Brooks in the deal. Considering the team just rattled off the best road trip in franchise history, I thought they would wait a little longer to make the necessary move to see if another player shook loose. That said, I like the proactive energy of this move.
Jordan Ramirez: I’m surprised, not shocked. Peter Vescey reported last night that the Celtics were closing in on a Jordan Crawford deal and that Golden State was oneof the teams interested. After rumors swirled for weeks about Kyle Lowry, Andre Miller, and Kirk Hinrich, the Warriors settled for the youngest and tallest available guard on the market.
Jordan Crawford isn’t your prototypical point guard, and he wasn’t even considered a point guard until this season when he increased his assist average to 5.7 a game. This increase in production is a large byproduct of new head coach Brad Stevens, but also the Celtics lack of talent and the injury to Rajon Rondo.
Kyle Lowry was the first name to be linked with the Warriors when it was assumed the Toronto Raptors would go forth with a full-on firesale. But, since the Rudy Gay trade they’ve moved up to third in the decrepit Eastern Conference and have no plans to move Lowry anymore it seems. Andre Miller got into it with head coach Brian Shaw and has been excused from the team since, and with the Warriors first-hand experience with Andre Miller last season in the playoffs, it was an obvious fit. Miller has yet to be moved and the Warriors newest acquisitions have the Sacramento Kings in the lead for the aging point guard. Hinrich was the most recent player linked with the Warriors, mostly being fueled by Chicago’s sudden turnaround into a tank-minded team with Hinrich being the next to go after Luol Deng.
Those three deals mentioned above would have surely required a player of value (sorry Toney) to complete in addition to using the Warriors trade exception. In other words, you’re not receiving a Kyle Lowry without a Draymond Green or Harrison Barnes being shipped off in the deal. Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks cost very little, the Warriors manage to stay under the luxury tax, both are on expiring deals and both (more specifically Crawford) fill a dire need. It’s a lowest possible risk, medium reward deal. Hats off to Bob Myers.
J.M. Poulard: Surprised. The initial impression from the trade rumors suggested that Bob Myers would go with an established veteran to back up Stephen Curry. Instead, he opted to go with a young player still playing out his rookie contract.
It’s difficult to state with certainty that Jordan Crawford will be a perfect fit, but his strengths seem to better complement the team. Toney Douglas was misused while Crawford is quite adept as a ball handler and does a good job of making shots from mid-range (44 percent per NBA.com).
It would appear as though the Dubs made a solid move considering what they gave up.
2. The Warriors needed to upgrade their bench. Have they accomplished that?
Danny Leroux: Yes but maybe not as much as would be necessary to make the big leap some are hoping for. The Warriors have been an absolute disaster offensively when Stephen Curry is off the court and an argument can be made that adding Jordan Crawford to dominate the ball during those times makes that problem better even if Crawford regresses.
This season, Crawford’s Points Per Possession of 1.01 and Boston’s team PPP of 1.043 when he is on the court are substantially better than the Dubs without Curry. He can get his own shot and actually has decent passing ability if he chooses to use it and it becomes the responsibility of the coaching staff and surrounding players to maximize his usefulness.
MarShon Brooks seems unlikely to play a big role but could do some spot minutes that would be appreciated, especially since the Warriors have limited shooting in the deep bench.
Jordan Ramirez: Yes, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Jordan Crawford has never been known as a ball-handling distributor, and while his assist numbers are impressive this season, I still have reservations on whether he can successfully spell Curry or how we’ll play alongside Curry and Andre Iguodala.
He will definitely help the anemic offense coming from that second-unit, but can he run an offense? And with the way Jackson likes to substitute the entire bench in for his starters at one time, is Crawford capable of running like a true-point should?
He’s an upgrade over the alternative, which will make the bench better by default. He has better handles than Toney Douglas and Kent Bazemore, but lacks their defensive prowess. Brooks is a huge wild-card and has fallen from grace since his impressive rookie season. He, like Crawford, was born to score. Brooks has been in and out of the D-League this season and hasn’t found an offensive rhythm since his rookie season. Crawford is the main piece in the deal and he’s a definite upgrade in the backcourt, but don’t expect him to be Jarrett Jack.
J.M. Poulard: Yes. The Warriors replaced a player that was inefficient (Toney Douglas’ PER this season was 6.7) with an actual rotation player and a bench player (MarShon Brooks) that can give the team some occasional energy out on the wing when regular second-unit players are completely out of sync.
At least on paper, Golden State got better with this move. My one concern is whether Crawford is ready to accept a reserve role after spending practically half of the season starting for the Boston Celtics.
3. Kent Bazemore will…
Danny Leroux: Bazemore will play nearly the same niche that he has had all year but to much greater success since the ball should be in his hands on offense significantly less. In fact, Crawford should make Bazemore substantially better at this stage since they can each spend time defending both guard positions while Bazemore becomes a non-negative on offense.
The only exception to that would be the possibility that the front office acquires another guard without giving up Crawford before the deadline and that move in combination with this one would push him out of the rotation. While possible, that seems unlikely right now.
Jordan Ramirez: …keep on trucking. When the trade went down I wasn’t sure if Kent Bazemore would be included or not, as the second-year guard would surely be thrown in any deal of major substance. He stays and two more guards come aboard, and while at the surface this seems like a detriment to Bazemore’s future play, it in fact enhances it. Bazemore can now move to off-guard and focus more on the defensive end instead of being forced to play a position he wasn’t previously accustomed to. His athleticism has never been questioned, and Crawford can open up some lanes for him and even Harrison Barnes when all three are on the floor. This trade doesn’t completely eliminate the need for Bazemore to score, but the pressure is softened as Crawford and Barnes will now share the load.
J.M. Poulard: I’m tempted to say he will never be seen again, but Bazemore did enough to earn some of Mark Jackson’s trusts this season. Consequently, he should get a bit of time out on the wings, but ultimately his role will be diminished going forward.