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What has the Boston Celtics' biggest surprise been so far this season? Hands down, Jordan Crawford.

Before the season, a majority of our writers here at Celtics Life picked Crawford as the "most likely to infuriate Celtics fans". So far we have been wrong. Genius Mike Saver even selected Crawford as team MVP (albeit with tanking in mind). Needless to say, Jordan's success has been unexpected to us all - and at the point guard position no less!

Typically known as a jacker, Crawford has been by far the team's best lead guard as well as the best overall Celtic this season. Crawford's PER (player efficiency rating) has been a 19.02 so far this season, well above the league average of 15. Crawford's PER is also above the likes of PGs such as Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and Ricky Rubio.

Crawford's season averages of 12.6 PPG and 4.8 APG have only grown over the last 10 games (14.3 PPG and 5.7 APG) as he has become more comfortable in the lead role. But Rajon Rondo is still the biggest piece of the Celtics' future, and penciled in for about 38 minutes a night at PG when healthy. Phil Pressey has been a surprise himself and is proving more than capable of handling the roll of Rondo's backup. So where does this leave Jordan Crawford?

It leaves him as a fantastic trade chip. In a contract year Crawford has washed away his poor reputation and rebuilt himself as a viable PG while remaining a good shooter. Just from glancing at the standings, Chicago or New York could potentially use Crawford's services. Unfortunately most teams, especially contenders looking to make additions, are covered at the PG position.

More importantly, what would Danny Ainge want in return for Crawford? Asking for a first round draft pick would be unrealistic. An expiring contract makes no sense because Crawford will become a free agent at the end of the year. Unless Crawford is dumped off for a second round pick (a sign Ainge is looking to tank), a Crawford trade really only makes sense if he is part of a package for something bigger.

The bottom line is that Crawford's strong play can only help his value to the Celtics. Boston figures to be one of the most active teams at the deadline this season, the more options they have the better. And Crawford has certainly become an unexpected option to give Ainge some flexibility.

Follow Julian @BleedGreenBlogs


Julian Edlow 11/27/2013 01:59:00 PM Edit
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