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LOS ANGELES -- The Boston Celtics acquired third-year guard Jordan Crawford from the Washington Wizards for guard Leandro Barbosa and center Jason Collins on Thursday.
Barbosa is out the remainder of the 2012-13 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee earlier this month. Crawford is expected to fill Barbosa's void on Boston's bench after falling out of favor in Washington.
Collins has averaged just more than 10 minutes per game for the Celtics this season, averaging 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. In initial reports, it appeared the deal would strictly be a Crawford-for-Barbosa swap. The inclusion of Collins became apparent just after the 3 p.m. trade deadline Thursday.
The 24-year-old Crawford, the 27th pick in the 2010 draft, has averaged 13.4 points, 3.1 assists and 2.7 rebounds over 26.2 minutes per game for his career. This season, he is averaging 13.2 points, 3.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds over 26.2 minutes per contest, starting 12 of Washington's 52 games. Since the return of John Wall from injury, Crawford's playing time has decreased."I know he can score and that's something we needed," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of Crawford. Rivers also is hopeful a veteran locker room and a winning atmosphere can bring the most out of Crawford. "The good thing and the bad thing is his confidence," Rivers said. "You rarely say that, but it was tough for him there to buy into a role because he looks at himself and says, 'I'm better than them.' I'm hoping that we don't have that issue here. Obviously, if we do, then it'll be a problem."
Barbosa received increased playing time after Rajon Rondo tore his ACL in late January -- only to sustain the same season-ending injury less than three weeks later. Barbosa is waiting for an medial collateral ligament sprain to heal before undergoing surgery to repair the ACL injury."Losing Barbosa, I kept saying it, that's hurt us," added Rivers. "We don't have that wild card off the bench. And I'm hoping [Crawford] gives us that. I know about the other stuff, too. I'm hoping, obviously, that our staff and we have some veteran players around here, that he can grow."
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had previously expressed an interest in bringing Barbosa back next season.
Initial reports suggested the Celtics and Wizards were discussing a deal centered on a Crawford swap for rookie big man Fab Melo, but that never materialized. The Celtics view Melo as a long-term project. He has spent much of the season in the D-League but is traveling with Boston while providing emergency depth for an injury-depleted roster.
Collins is a bit of a surprise addition, especially given how thin Boston is up front. He had served as the first big off the bench, often spelling Kevin Garnett early, but that role will now likely fall to Chris Wilcox, while the Celtics will seemingly search the buyout scrapheap for a serviceable big man."That's part of the NBA," Collins said. "You're not just making a commitment, but you're making a commitment to yourself and then to the team and understand that there's a business side to the sport. It's not the first time I've been traded. Obviously, I understand everything that's involved in it."
The Wizards are getting two expiring contracts in Barbosa and Collins, who are set to become free agents this summer.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.