Yesterday the Celtics made a $1.2 million qualifying offer to Jae Crowder, making him a restricted free agent. According to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, Crowder wants to return to Boston but intends to explore his worth on the open market.
Crowder is young, he's about to turn 25 on July 6th, and in my opinion a crucial signing for the Celtics this offseason. We last saw him being carried off the court against Cleveland, who did everything short of have J.R. Smith get down on his hands and knees behind him while Kendrick Perkins pushed him over.
That the eventual Eastern Conference Champs were so irked by Crowders defense, physicality, and hustle proves what an impact he was making in a series that was never even close. Even as he was being carried from the court, according to my amateur lip-reading, he was calling the entire Cavs team a bunch of something's that started with a "P" or a "B", and they just took it like the bunch of P's and B's that they are. That toughness and fearlessness endeared him to Boston, and the organization.
Crowder's season was not all about that series though. When he came from Dallas in the Rondo trade, I had no clue he would catch on in Boston the way that he did. He played very tough D, played with heart and without fear, hit just enough threes to justify shooting them in Brad Stevens offense, and maintained flawless dreads throughout.
His three point shooting does need to improve. With the Celtics last year Crowder shot just 28% in 57 games, his lowest output of his career, but his highest attempt rate as well. Him taking and making threes will be essential because his defense is just too valuable to leave on the bench.
He did hit one of the biggest threes of our season, as he swished a buzzer beater late in the season against the Raptors to clinch a playoff spot and the 7 seed, and also made one of my favorite blocks of the NBA season.
The reality is Crowder is very important to how our team plays, and has become a catalyst for the Celtics. He is a strong, defensive 3 and D guy that could use a little more 3. Hopefully he is hoisting 500 a day during his rehab, and hopefully no other NBA teams make any sky high offers that the Celts don't want to match, because I loved watching Crowder last year as a Celtic, and would like to do it again this season.
Photo Credit: Mark L. Baer/USATODAY Sports
Follow me on Twitter @Thomp_26 Chris Thompson 6/30/2015 08:00:00 AM Tweet Edit