When teams make that transition from a perennial contender to a rebuilding team, oftentimes the roster has to be assessed from afar to figure out how certain players fit into that transition. Some are traded away. Some are waived. Some are kept.
And as you take a look at the Boston Celtics roster, there are a number of pieces that raise questions about where or how they fit into what Boston is trying to accomplish in the future. Jordan Crawford is one of them.
I’ve gone back and forth on what I think about Crawford during his time in Boston. On the surface, he’s a pretty putrid basketball player. He’s inefficient. He takes shots he shouldn’t take. It seems like he somehow always finds a way to have the ball at the end of the shot clock, which then gives him the chance to offer up a prayer that seems to be answered more times than I would expect.
In fact, 42 percent of Crawford’s shots last season came with 0-10 seconds left on the shot clock. His effective field goal percentage was just over 50 percent in those situations.
He’s a confusing player who has all the confidence in the world. Crawford is an underrated passer. Athough his awkward movements with the ball often frighten me, he's not an awful ball handler. And he's maddeningly bad at defense.
I’d argue that he needs to get stronger to make up for being a bit of an undersized shooting guard, but that argument is something that’s likely been made every offseason since he’s been in the league. And he hasn’t changed much since then.
As the Celtics embark on what is probably going to be a tough season, I think Crawford will fit in just fine. He’s already been mentioned as a player who might have to shoulder some of the load as a ball handler while Rajon Rondo continues to recover. My, won’t that be interesting. We’ll get to see if he’s capable of being a primary ball handler in whatever offensive system Brad Stevens implements.
The more I think about Jordan Crawford, and the more I try to think about what he means to this season’s team, I actually enjoy him. If I'm honest, I find his quirks fun enough that I can enjoy the negative basketball traits he brings to the table.
With all of the questions that remain about the Celtics and their future, I’m going to take this season and just enjoy the negatives, the oddities, the things that would usually frustrate a fan. Jordan Crawford isn’t the future of the Boston Celtics franchise. He was never meant to be.
His characteristics on the court are sure to frustrate fans this season, not including the times where he gets hot and scores in bunches much to the bewilderment of everyone. And I’ve convinced myself that I’m fine with that frustration. Jordan Crawford probably isn’t going to change.
He’s not the greatest basketball player. He’s perplexing in many ways. But that’s okay, because sometimes you just have to find beauty in the frustrating and confusing things in life that you don’t understand.