Rajon Rondo is most likely returning to the team as early as Friday night. Jordan Crawford is set to move to the bench, and maybe as far back as behind Jerryd Bayless on the depth chart. So it might make sense for the Celtics to see if they can get some value for him via trade.
While Crawford's value has likely dipped (or was never all that high to begin with) recently, there still might be some interest for him. Peter Vecsey reports that there is.
I can see how the Clippers might be interested. There's familiarity there between Doc and Jordan and there's a need for a fill in point guard now that Chris Paul is going to miss some time with a separated shoulder. Darren Collison has filled in admirably, but maybe Doc sees something that's missing.
Of course there's something else to consider. Any deal these two teams come up with would have to get through the league offices.
Going back to the events of this past summer, where the league stepped in and put a kibosh on combined coach-player trade talks between the Celtics and Clippers. In at least one scenario, the teams would have exchanged compensation for the right to hire Doc Rivers, then followed up with a trade of players and perhaps picks. The league saw that as a way of getting around the rules and let the teams know that if they dealt Doc Rivers that they wouldn't be able to make further trades with each other for the next year.
So why is this even a rumor then? Here's one thought:
@EricPincus What if C's trade Crawford to Team X ... then Team X trades him to Clips (in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge sort of arrangement)?— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) January 15, 2014
The Rise and Fall of Jordan Crawford
It feels like it was an eternity ago when Jordan Crawford was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on December 9th. H
Consider me skeptical. I don't know if David Stern (or Adam Silver for that matter) would appreciate the two teams using a "wink-wink" arrangement to get around rules that were put in place because of another wink-wink arrangement.
To me it is more likely that the two sides could approach the Commissioners office and say "We get why you told us not to deal before, but this deal obviously has nothing to do with that one from the summer. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce aren't even on the team anymore and things have changed a lot for both sides since then." I think if they took that approach, they could get something through.
Of course the Clippers aren't the only ones on that list. There are also the Nets, Suns, Rockets, and Warriors. Crawford is also an expiring contract, so there's little commitment associated with him. In fact, if the Celtics wanted to get a bigger return for him, they could include the "on indefinite leave" Kieth Bogans (a non-guaranteed contract - which is much like an expiring contract).
So will anything happen? Who would be coming to the Celtics in exchange for Steez? I haven't the foggiest idea, but I figure it is a good topic for some conversation.