The Boston Celtics are reportedly involved in trade talks with the Portland Trail Blazers concerning veteran guard Jamal Crawford (via CBS Boston). Acquiring Crawford is a mistake for the Celtics—it would ruin their rebuilding task at hand.
According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, the Blazers are fielding offers from a number of different teams along with the Celtics. Haynes writes that he would “keep [his] eye on Boston” in these talks because of their amount of cap space and the draft picks they have.
This trade would be a disaster for Boston for many different reasons.
As a team that is clearly trying to get younger and better, it makes no sense to add a player like Crawford. Anyone checked how old this guy is? He’s 32 years old with 11 seasons of NBA miles on his odometer. For a team that needs an infusion of youth and athleticism, it doesn’t make sense to add an old bench guard.
Now, obviously Crawford is younger than the guy he would presumably be replacing in Ray Allen, who turns 37 on July 20th. However, a comparison shows that, despite how advanced in years he is, Allen is still a better option than Crawford.
Last season, Allen shot an excellent 46 percent from the field and a great 45 percent from three-point range, while averaging 14.2 points per game. Crawford shot 38 percent from the field and just 31 percent from the three-point line while averaging 13.9 points per game.
You may be saying, “Hey, Allen only averaged 0.4 points per game more than Crawford.” You would be right. However, considering the large disparity in shooting percentage, Crawford must have taken more shots to get that average. Allen attempted fewer shots and made more of them than Crawford did.
Neither would contribute to the youth movement, but Allen is clearly a better option. Crawford might be a bit cheaper, but money shouldn’t be an issue when a team’s status as a championship contender is in jeopardy.
Crawford has also displayed a poor attitude in the past. According to ESPN’s Chad Ford back in March, Crawford teamed up with teammate Raymond Felton to lead a quiet mutiny against then head coach Nate McMillan.
The fact that McMillan was canned during the season doesn’t seem to be a coincidence.
Can the Celtics really afford to bring in such a locker room cancer, especially if they lose Kevin Garnett to free agency? The answer is no.
What happens when Doc Rivers chews out Crawford for doing something wrong in a game? That’s all McMillan did, and he ended up getting fired. I’m not saying that Crawford could get Rivers fired, but he probably would get himself jettisoned out of there, which will have made the whole process a waste of time for Boston.
This team doesn’t need this guy. There are better, younger options out there. He’s too old and too risky to bring to this team that is built on defense and honor.
The Celtics should look in different directions.