Jordan Crawford, Klay Thompson

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

Golden State receives: MarShon Brooks (6’5”, SG) and Jordan Crawford  (6’4”, PG/SG).

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.


Boston: A-

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.


Miami: B+

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.

2 Responses

  1. Bobby G

    Let’s be real: Miami did this trade for luxury tax purposes. Brian Windhorst estimated cleaning Joel Anthony’s 2 yr, $7.6M off the books in exchange for Toney Douglas at 1 yr $1.6M will save the Heat around $10M in luxury tax payments over the next 2 years. I expect Toney Douglas, who will be at best the 5th GUARD option (behind Chalmers, Wade, Cole, and Allen, and maybe even Beasley), to unfortunately only see garbage time minutes. I’d feel bad for him except now he’s got a legit chance at getting a ring, which is kinda cool. But yeah, there’s probably a chance the Heat waive him or buy him out (if that’s possible, haven’t checked); suffice to say they don’t care about his abilities. In my mind they traded, as you put it, driftwood for much much cheaper driftwood. From a basketball standpoint on this trade, I’d give them a “pass” (pass/no pass) and from a GM/owner perspective, a solid A.

    Oh and because I’m nitpicky, the Heat didn’t really “clear cap space,” since they are far beyond the luxury tax line, let alone the salary cap, even following this trade. But that’s mostly just semantics.

    As for Boston… I’d grade them a little lower. I know they’re tanking but even tanking teams want to take young players on team-favorable deals, like Crawford with his RFA status this summer, rather than give them away for 2 years of a bad player. I guess it means they’d rather have a non lottery pick than match the $4M a year crawford looked like he was heading towards… fair enough I suppose. I’d give them a B. The Joel Anthony deal may be a little annoying next year, although he will be an expiring then…

    Otherwise good write up!

    • Tim Greene

      Totally agree. For Miami, it’s first and foremost about getting salary off the books and only secondarily (or tertiarily) about the player they’re getting in return. I’m just trying to be a little more positive about Toney’s position (in this cold, cold world) since he got such a raw deal here in Oakland. He’s significantly longer than Cole (arm length, not height) and, I believe, Chalmers, and can spell Wade for spurts–something neither Cole nor Chalmers can really claim to do all that well. Even if he only sticks around for spot duty cleaning up for those guys, that’s an on-the-floor win compared to Joel Anthony’s actively-making-the-team-significantly-worse game.

      Best case scenario he’s a little Battier out there. Worst case scenario, and assuming he sticks around, he’s just another version of Cole and Chalmers to throw out when one of the two inevitably gets injured. (It’s also possible Chalmers’s achilles issue is worse than the team is letting on.) Even the worse case sounds significantly better than Joel Anthony at 2/$7.6M.

      On the Celtics, I’m also with you. I think they weren’t enamored enough with Crawford to re-sign him for his free-agent market rate and wanted to stockpile assets for the future while getting worse today. Given Stevens’s uncanny ability to coax blood from the river full of misshapen stones out in Boston, it seems like the front office is simply trying to ensure the team plays some truly awful basketball through the end of the year. I’d be willing to bet even Stevens won’t be able to get anything worthwhile out of Anthony–and that may be the point.