The Golden State Warriors, who spent recent weeks canvassing the NBA for backcourt help that could aid their playoff push, finally found a deal on Wednesday.
According to two people with knowledge of the situation, they landed guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks from the Boston Celtics in a three-team trade.
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From the Miami Heat, the Celtics will receive Philadelphia's future first-round pick, a future second-round pick and center Joel Anthony, while Golden State sends point guard Toney Douglas to the Heat. The people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the trade had not yet been announced.
It remains to be seen what sort of picks the Celtics received: If the Sixers don't make the playoffs in the next two seasons, then the first round pick that is headed Boston's way will become two second round picks (2015 and 2016).
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A quick breakdown of each team's part and how it helps their respective efforts:
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are still thrilled that they, in essence, chose small forward Andre Iguodala over the likes of former reserves Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry in free agency last summer. But in losing Jack – who was (pardon the cliché) a jack of all trades – they lost a player who served as a pressure release for Stephen Curry in their dynamic-but-complicated backcourt.
Iguodala is a more-than-capable playmaker, but he doesn't play that role as frequently or as well as Jack did and Douglas (11 minutes, 3.7 points on 37.2% shooting, 0.8 assists per game) simply wasn't good enough to make up for the difference. Enter Crawford, the fourth-year player who played very well at times this season (13.7 points on 41.3% shooting overall, 31.8% from three-point range, 5.7 assists, 3.1 rebounds per game) and was no longer needed by Boston now that Rajon Rondo is expected to return soon from the ACL injury that he suffered nearly a year ago. Brooks, the 24-year-old who averaged 12.6 points per game as a rookie with the Brooklyn Nets but had fallen out of relevance since, could add even more scoring punch to the Warriors' second unit that was desperately in need of help.
Douglas was owed $1.6 million in this the final season of his contract, while Crawford and Brooks are owed a combined $3.4 million on their expiring deals. The Warriors used part of a traded player exception in order for the deal to satisfy league rules governing trades.
As was mentioned, Rondo will be running the Celtics' show again before long and Boston general manager Danny Ainge saw an opportunity to continue his rebuilding efforts by netting draft picks.
This is the new way of their world, one in which we'll have to wait and see whether Rondo can stomach all the losing that is likely to occur or whether so many teams that would love to land him may get their shot before the Feb. 20 trade deadline.
The Heat get a little bit of financial freedom that could lead to a meaningful addition in the not-so-distant future.
Because Anthony was owed a combined $7.6 million in salary for this season and next, he was an unnecessary burden on their already-overburdened salary situation. By swapping Anthony's contract for Douglas', Miami - which now has a payroll of $81.3 million - will save approximately $5.2 million this season on its luxury tax bill alone.
Anthony, who went from an undrafted talent out of UNLV to winning two championships in his six previous seasons with the Heat, had played in 12 games this season for a combined 37 minutes. Now, much like the Warriors in these past few weeks, the Heat can canvass the league looking for one more player to aid their title-contending efforts.
While they would need to waive the likes of Douglas or perhaps veteran Roger Mason ($1.2 million expiring) to free up the necessary roster spot, it's the sort of added flexibility that makes the move a win-win for Miami.
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