NBA Trade Rumors: Golden State Warriors Should Push for Jordan Crawford

Joshua J VannucciniSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 15, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 8: Jordan Crawford #27 of the Boston Celtics dribbles against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Golden State Warriors could do with some improvement in the backcourt, and Jordan Crawford fits the bill.

According to a tweet from Peter Vecsey, the Boston Celtics are prepared to move Crawford in the wake of Rajon Rondo's impending return. He's been a productive starter for Boston thus far, averaging 13.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game in 30.7 minutes.

Crawford is also shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from three-point range but has done most of his damage as a two-way offensive player for the Celtics. He sports a 2.67 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is good for No. 15 in the league and statistically ahead of some terrific distributors like Tony Parker and John Wall.

The Warriors bench has been dismal this season, ranking dead last in terms of bench scoring per game, according to Hoops Stats. Harrison Barnes has been the only consistent reserve, playing 30.6 minutes per game. Draymond Green and Jermaine O'Neal (out since December 11) follow Barnes with 19.6 minutes and 18.6 minutes per game, respectively.

The Warriors desperately need a reserve who can regularly contribute, especially in the backcourt. Toney Douglas and Kent Bazemore combine for 18.3 minutes per game and average 3.7 points (37.2 percent shooting) and 2.8 points (40.2 percent), respectively, which makes Golden State's need for a presence at either guard spot imperative.

Crawford can provide both the scoring and distributing that the Warriors need at point guard or shooting guard, depending on what is needed. His contract pays him $2.1 million this season, making a potential acquisition likely in regard to Golden State's payroll.

The Warriors could essentially trade Douglas, but his $1.6 million deal for this season doesn't match up in terms of salary. An offer of both Douglas and Bazemore would fall in line with such a qualification, but it would leave Golden State's backcourt somewhat weaker.

It would be in Boston's best interest to take back Douglas and Bazemore, as both have contracts that could come off the payroll. Douglas' expires at the end of the season, while Bazemore's holds a qualifying offer.

Another option would be to send Douglas and little-used center Ognjen Kuzmic. He's played just 13 games for the Warriors, averaging 0.6 points and 0.8 rebounds in 3.9 minutes per game.

His deal totals to just $2.4 million over three seasons, so even though it continues into the 2015-16 season, his contract isn't of high value. That essentially gives the Celtics the option to waive him or keep him, if he intrigues them as a prospect.

DENVER, CO - January 7: Jordan Crawford #27 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket against the Denver Nuggets on January 7, 2014 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or
Bart Young/Getty Images

Having said that, these deals don't match Crawford's value. It depends on where the Celtics see themselves at this point of the season.

If the team is looking to reload for the postseason with Rondo in tow, it's unlikely a Douglas-Bazemore or Douglas-Kuzmic combo would be enticing enough.

If Boston is looking toward the draft and rebuilding, having less salary committed is imperative to keep options open. 

Golden State could also add a first-round draft pick from either the 2015 or 2016 draft to sweeten the deal. Crawford's contract continues into next season, so it would be a commitment past this season if the Warriors did throw in a pick, which is less detrimental if it turned into a one-year rental of Crawford.

In any case, Golden State should take a deal into consideration. Crawford's offensive versatility would be terrific in the Warriors' uptempo style of play. He'd be a monumental upgrade over any guards on Golden State's bench, but therein lies the potential to rule out such a deal.

It all comes down to what the Celtics' plans for the future are and the areas that they wish to focus on the most. For the Warriors, Boston's potential focus on rebuilding is hopeful, as it could net them a piece to further improve an already stellar Western Conference contender. 


All salary information courtesy of Hoops World.