Since arriving in Boston, Jae Crowder evolved from an end of the bench guy into a full-time starter for a contending Celtics team. The city of Boston has embraced their new small forward and because of that, he was rewarded with a five-year contract worth $35 million. Though GM Danny Ainge and the C's seem committed to Crowder, an anonymous NBA scout via Sports Illustrated is less than convinced of the situation.
Crowder has to take another step. He’s a good player and can lock down threes but I’m not convinced that he is their small forward of the future. [Rookie] Jaylen Brown, maybe, will be. . . . Brown will play. He’s not a very good shooter, but because he’s good defensively and he can run and has good size [6' 7"], he’ll get minutes.
Even with the 19-year-old Jaylen Brown impressing draft day doubters early with his preseason play, its still premature to expect Brown to overtake Crowder's role any time soon. Unless there is some kind of fantasy blockbuster trade in the mix, the Celtics will have him on the roster up until the end of 2020.
With this in mind, the real question all Celtics fans should be asking themselves going into the 2016-17 season with Crowder is whether or not his game has fully peaked. Having just turned 26-years-old, it is possible that we have yet to see his full potential as an all-around player.
Defensively, Crowder has proven to already be a top-notch ballhawk in this league. Though offensively, he has yet to shoot the ball consistently from behind the three-point line for Boston. It may not be unreasonable for the organization to expect any kind of improvements in that area of his game.
Will Crowder be a vital part of this Celtics team, or is he just one of the many Ainge assets that can be flipped for true star talent?
Take a look at one of his offseason workouts, trying to really focus on his offensive game along with second-year guard Terry Rozier:
Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer
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Spencer Tawes 10/21/2016 04:00:00 PM Tweet Edit