By Tim Greene (@tenpercenttony)
Earlier this morning, the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat announced a three-way trade that, to these eyes, projects to be a rare win-win(-win). The Warriors get some much-needed offensive firepower for their woefully undergunned second unit, the Heat shed some salary and receive another 3-and-D guard to slot into their rotation and the Celtics acquired a new tank commander.
Let’s break it down a little bit. Here are the details, courtesy of ESPN.com:
Boston receives: Joel Anthony (6’9”, PF/C), a future second-round pick, and a protected first-round pick acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers.
Miami receives: Toney Douglas (6’2”, PG/SG).
Golden State: A-
In Crawford, the Warriors have addressed their biggest need: ball-handling on the second unit. Crawford is a ball-handling combo guard more than capable of creating his own shot and, as he’s shown this year, manufacturing looks for his teammates. As Boston’s starting point guard this year, Crawford put up per-36 averages of 16.1 points on 41.4 percent from the field (31.8 from three), 6.7 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2.5 turnovers.
Although he’s fallen to earth a bit after his rocket-like start to the year—he won Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors during December—he has still looked far better than the unrepentant chucker we all (ironically) loved so much with the Washington Wizards.
In Brooks, the Warriors receive a scoring wing to help open things up when the starters sit. Like Crawford, he’s capable of creating his own shot—something Golden State desperately needs from its bench players. And although Brooks hasn’t received much playing time in the league since his rookie year with the New Jersey Nets, he torched the D-League with the Maine Red Claws. In his five-game reassignment, he put up per-36 averages of 28.1 points on 47.8 percent shooting (37.5 from three), 4.5 assists, 6.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 3.0 turnovers.
Both players are at the tail end of their contracts, so the Warriors have no obligations to either after season’s end. Hopefully in the mean time Crawford and Brooks can add a little spark to the bench unit.
Get ready for some primo tanking, guys. Boston moved its best player over the first half of the season in Crawford, and added Joel Anthony, one of the most ineffective players in recent league history, to an already-crowded frontcourt rotation.
But that’s all to the good for Boston. They piled up some more draft picks, moved two players they likely weren’t going to re-sign, and—barring Rajon Rondo somehow turning this awful, awful squad into something marginally watchable—are angling themselves into pole position for the 2014 draft sweepstakes. Not too bad.
As I recently wrote, the Warriors simply misused Toney Douglas. Because of said improper combined with a few nagging injuries, Douglas never really found his place in the Warriors’ rotation.
That doesn’t mean he’s a bad player—far from it, in fact. Without any ball-handling responsibilities, Douglas can do what he does best—take catch-and-shoot corner threes and play suffocating defense. Douglas now finds himself in the perfect position for his talents. If the Heat’s staff is smart about Douglas’ usage, the team could find itself with a tiny Shane Battier.
So the Heat cleared cap space, added a solid piece, and did so in exchange for driftwood and a couple of marginal picks. Solid work.
We’ll have some more detailed analysis of the trade coming up in the next few days, so stay tuned.