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Celtics Reportedly 'Close' to Jordan Crawford Trade, 5 Teams Interested in Deal

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Celtics Reportedly 'Close' to Jordan Crawford Trade, 5 Teams Interested in Deal
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Rajon Rondo's impending return has rendered Jordan Crawford expendable for the Boston Celtics.

UPDATE: Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 12:40 p.m. ET by Dan Favale

According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Crawford deed is done:

Woj provided additional details on the three-team trade that also includes the Heat:

As part of a three-team deal, the Boston Celtics have traded guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Warriors will send guard Toney Douglas to the Miami Heat, and Miami sends center Joel Anthony and a future first-round pick and second-round pick to the Celtics, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Miami will send a first-round pick it owns from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Celtics, but that pick becomes two second-round picks should the Sixers miss the playoffs in 2013-14 and 2014-15. The Heat will save nearly $10 million in salary and luxury tax with the unloading of Anthony's contract.

Rondo, who the Celtics just assigned to the D-League, is expected back shortly. That, coupled with the fact Crawford would hit restricted free agency this summer, compelled Boston to strike a deal now.

---End of update---

 

According to Peter Vecsey, Crawford's days in Beantown are officially numbered:

Crawford's potential departure follows a cryptic tweet from the injured Rondo:

After some number crunching, it became apparent Rondo was dropping a clue as to when he would return from his ACL injury.

"Rondo appears to have even calculated the exact differential in time between his surgery and tipoff on Friday," ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg wrote

With Rondo's stay on the sidelines drawing to a close, the Celtics are free to deal Crawford, who has served as their primary playmaker in Rondo's absence. 

Amid a career year, during which he's averaging a personal-best 5.7 assists per game, Crawford started to draw trade interest before now. The New York Daily News' Mitch Lawrence previously wrote that the Miami Heat were hoping to pick him up in an attempt to acquire some extra backcourt depth.

Miami is not one of the five teams Vecsey lists, though, likely because it doesn't have enough assets to swing a deal.

What's interesting is all five suitors are playoff contenders, showing just how much Crawford's value has increased as a source of instant offense and surprise playmaking. That said, his actual market value remains uncertain.

Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images
With Rondo back, the Celtics, apparent tankers, don't need Crawford.

Crawford will enter unrestricted free agency this summer, at which point he'll likely command more than the $3.2 million qualifying offer he's due. Any interested team must keep that in mind because they're either willing to commit money to him this summer or planning to use him as a half-season rental.

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Stopgaps don't usually net high returns, so offers will vary depending on the suitor and its future plan for Crawford.

Of the five teams interested, it's also not entirely certain who's willing to offer the most. But it does seem that the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors or a dark-horse courter is on the verge of prying Crawford out of Boston.

"I definitely want to be here," Crawford said of staying in Boston, via USA Today's Sean Highkin.

Now more than ever, Crawford's chances of remaining in Boston beyond the Feb. 20 trade deadline appear less than slim. 

 

*Salary information via ShamSports.

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