If you're not loving yesterday's trade, I don't blame you
I'm not wild about Danny Ainge's latest deal, and it has nothing to do with losing Jordan Crawford or MarShon Brooks. Neither one of them was going to be a part of the Celtics long term plan. And for those who might argue otherwise, I promise you this -- Crawford and Brooks weren't going to make a difference when it comes to hoisting banner #18.
What bothers me is what Boston got in return. Again, it's not the player that matters (Joel Anthony is a non-factor who will ride the bench and be gone at season's end), but rather the contract and draft picks.
If the Sixers don't make the playoffs this year or next (a fairly likely possibility), all the Celtics will have received is a trio of second round draft picks. More often than not guys drafted in the second round don't even stick around on NBA rosters, let alone become impact players.
The bigger issue however is the $3.8 million the C's will have to pay Anthony next season. Yes, it's a small amount of money, and it's only one additional year (rebuilding figures to take at least two years anyway), but it still goes against one of the main goals of what Boston is trying to do; open up as many options as possible by clearing salary cap space.
This feels like a deal the Celtics could have made without giving up anything in return. "Hey, we'll toss you three 2nd rounders if you take this $3.8 million contract off our hands?" "Hmm, OK."
I realize Crawford and Brooks don't have much value, but Crawford definitely had some. In all likelihood a big reason this deal went down yesterday is tomorrow's return of Rajon Rondo. I wonder if that acted almost as a deadline of sorts that may have kept Ainge from holding out for the best possible offer? In reality I actually think Boston waited too long to move Crawford, they should have aggressively pursed a trade last month when his value peaked after winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
If the Sixers do end up making the playoffs in either of these two seasons this deal will look a lot better, but that's a lot to bank on.