It goes without saying the Warriors’ bench has needed an offensive facelift this season. Like, desperately. You can only see so much of Marreese Speights chucking up 20-footers or Kent Bazemore attempting to resemble a person who has played point guard before or the bench unit allowing another double digit lead to evaporate before you want to just emotionally stuff your face in a vat of cookie dough and never watch basketball again.
Somehow, even with an offensively deficient bench the Warriors have still managed a 25-14 record. The Warriors are contenders! And contenders can’t expect to make shit happen if they’re content with letting their bench players play with tiddly winks out on the court. Something needed to be done, and something was done.
The Warriors acquired Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks from the Celtics in a three-team trade today. Crawford, a combo guard, is clearly the key piece in return for the Warriors, who haven’t had much luck with guys not named Stephen Curry playing point guard this year. Brooks, a once-promising player with the Nets, meanwhile, should become good friends with Nedovic and Kuzmic at the end of the bench.
Sorry, Toney Douglas, you and your gratuitous E are out of here. You’re on your way to play with LeBron James, so cry us a river.
Adrian Wojnarowski (who else?) broke the story. Miami is sending a future first-rounder to the Boston Wigginses.
This is precisely the move the Warriors have been expected to make for a few weeks now. Ever since Jarrett Jack left in free agency, the Warriors’ bench has been sorely under-productive (which is also in part due to Harrison Barnes’ inability to take over the sixth man role gracefully). Andre Iguodala, in assuming that secondary ballhandler role with the reserves, was expected to create scoring opportunities for teammates, but that experiment has largely been a bust, as the Warriors have the worst scoring bench in the entire league.
Names like Kyle Lowry, Andre Miller and Kirk Hinrich have been attached to the Warriors in various rumors floating out on the interwebs, so it’s easy to get disheartened when hearing the Warriors settled on a guy who’s on his third team in two years. Two things in response to that:
1. You never know what the asking price for said guys was. In fact Lowry has reportedly come off the trading block in recent weeks because the Atlantic Division is such a dumpster fire and the Raptors want to make a push at getting home court in the playoffs, to which the Pacers and Heat respond, “that’s cute.” The fact that the Warriors are only giving up Toney with an E for the more offensively inclined player they were looking for is sort of a bargain.
2. Crawford is having statistically the best year of his career—13.7 points, 5.7 assists, 41.4 percent shooting. Granted, it’s been in the starting lineup while Rajon Rondo has been on the sidelines playing Connect Four, but still, he’s used that time to morph out of the shoot-first player he’s been for his career into more of a playmaker.
We’re not ready to declare this trade a slam dunk for the Warriors. We already did that with some of the bench signings this offseason, and look how that turned out. Looking to not make that mistake again, we’ll wait to see how Crawford first responds to a more limited role and whether he can be the Curry surrogate floor general-type of the reserve unit. On paper, though, the Warriors are on the come up after this deal.
But we will leave you with something that should put a smile on your face. You may remember Crawford as the college player a few years back who Mozgoved LeBron James in a tape that Nike or LeBron or both allegedly wanted destroyed. Here is that dunk:
Welcome to Golden State!