Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boston Celtics [Print without images]

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Trade winds: Crawford for Melo?

By Chris Forsberg

From ESPN.com's Chris Broussard:

With Fab Melo as the bait, Celtics looking to add perimeter scoring. Wizards' Jordan Crawford available @ on their radar

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 21, 2013

A few thoughts on this potential swap, which makes a lot of sense for Boston to consider:

* CRAWFORD AVAILABLE: From Wednesday's Washington Post: "If the Wizards make a trade before the deadline, reserve shooting guard Jordan Crawford is the most likely candidate to be dealt but they might not get much in return. When asked what the Wizards could possibly get for Crawford, one rival Eastern Conference executive replied, “very little.” According to the league source with knowledge of the team’s plans, the Wizards have been making and fielding calls to possibly deal Crawford, who has fallen out of Coach Randy Wittman’s rotation and doesn’t appear to be a part of the franchise’s future plans."

* WILD CARD REPLACED: Celtics coach Doc Rivers lamented how the loss of Leandro Barbosa earlier this month took away Boston's "wild card," a guy with big scoring potential who could come off the bench and provide a much-needed spark. Crawford, so long as he's accepting of a bench role with somewhat inconsistent minutes, becomes Boston's new relief pitcher.

* LUXURY TAX IN FOCUS: If the Celtics were to bundle Barbosa and Fab Melo as part of a package for Crawford (see the trade HERE), it would save them roughly $1 million on the books and move them that much closer to dipping below the $70.3 million tax line (our inexact numbers have Boston hovering around $71.5 million committed so far this season). That could make the odds of adding more depth difficult -- for instance, Boston would have to be leery about extending Terrence Williams from a 10-day pact to a season-long deal, unless it could find another way to trim a bit of salary and get below that line. With stiff luxury tax repeater penalties looming, Boston could save a boatload of money down the road by getting below that line.

If the Celtics end up content to stand pat with their current core and are seeking roster upgrades for a stretch run, a potential Crawford deal makes a lot of sense and his 2013-14 salary ($2.2 million) isn't terribly prohibitive.