On Wednesday afternoon, Golden State finally made a move to shore up its bench, acquiring guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks from the Boston Celtics in a three-team trade. Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the deal.
Miami received Douglas and sent Philadelphia's highly protected first-round pick to Boston, along with Joel Anthony's expiring deal. This deal frees up over $11 million in luxury and salary tax the Heat could utilize to re-sign Mario Chalmers or any of the Big 3. Though Douglas is a high-energy, aggressive guard who would in theory fit well in the Heat's trapping, frenetic defensive schemes, he could be cut because Miami already has two guards like him that are more familiar with the system in Chalmers and Norris Cole. Sources around the league believe either Douglas or Roger Mason will get let go as the Heat chase much-maligned center Andrew Bynum, waived some time ago by Chicago.
Boston received Anthony and the aforementioned Philadelphia pick, which due to being lottery-protected is only a first round pick if the Sixers make the playoffs either this season (yeah, think again) or next season. I suppose it's somewhat plausible that Philadelphia, with Michael Carter-Williams, Spencer Hawes, Nerlens Noel, and whatever player they net in the loaded 2014 draft (Insider $$$), could sneak into the bottom rung of the (L)Eastern Conference playoffs; the other, more likely scenario is that the pick turns into two second-rounders. Anthony rode the end of the bench for Miami and unfortunately for the Celtics, Anthony has a $3.8 million player option that he is certain to pick up.
For the Warriors, this was all about adding a serviceable backup point guard to what has been an awful bench unit thus far. (Brooks is merely a throw-in, a failed first-round pick that hasn't panned out and probably won't get much playing time for Golden State.) Jae wrote about the bench struggles so far this season, as Mark Jackson continues to baffle by going to an all-bench unit that "masks their individual strengths and intensifies their collective weaknesses." Golden State's backup point guards, including sideline celebratory extraordinaire Kent Bazemore, have stunk up the joint, as Jackson refuses to use Andre Iguodala as the backup behind Stephen Curry. This is the reason Golden State was desperate for a backup to Curry; they needed someone off the bench who could create for others without having the offense flounder without Curry on the court.
Jordan Crawford has had a revolutionary season as Brad Stevens's Jedi Mind Tricks to make him a better playmaker have worked. Never having averaged more than 3.9 assists per game in a season in his six-year career, Crawford has averaged 5.7 assists per game so far this season in just under 31 minutes per game. Hopefully, Crawford can bring his shot-creating skills to a Warriors bench desperately needing them. Crawford has averaged nearly 15 points per game this season for Boston, a team with the fourth-worst record in the NBA at this point.
As just $1.7 million is added to this year's payroll, the Warriors are still under the tax, and the fact that Crawford is a better shot-creator than Douglas makes this a solid deal for the Warriors. Crawford comes for nearly nothing, and though his defense is incompetent, he should help shore up the garbage squad all-bench units Jackson keeps unfathomably playing. Though the bench units will still suck, at least they won't be ungodly horrific, as Crawford can at least get into the lane and create for himself and others, something no other Warriors bench player, not even Harrison Barnes, can do as well as him. The all-bench units shouldn't still be a lineup when the postseason begins, but Crawford will help somewhat in the playoffs, playing 10-13 minutes as part of hybrid starter-bench units.
Golden State is all-in for the foreseeable future, mortgaging two first-rounders and its next five second-rounders for its core of Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Lee, and Bogut; as a "legitimate championship contender," this deal just may be the little move that could make a real difference come May or June.