Bucher dubs Crawford 'eminently available'

Bucher dubs Crawford 'eminently available'
February 16, 2013, 10:15 am
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Despite being among the Wizards' top scorers and apparently healthy, Jordan Crawford has not played in three straight games, just 11 minutes over the last five contests.

In other news, the NBA trading deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m.

Imagining how these two items might connect does not require league-wide NBA contacts, but seeing as CSN Bay Area's Ric Bucher has the league's pulse and made a Crawford-trading block reference overnight, we might as well discuss. Here is what the NBA insider posted online:

"Does your team need an explosive scorer on the cheap? It appears Wizards SG Jordan Crawford is eminently available now that Bradley Beal is in full bloom and the Wizards' management and coaching staff are looking to finish the season strong (they're 11-8 since John Wall returned) to prove this roster, when healthy, is a playoff-caliber one to owner Ted Leonsis. Crawford can fill up a boxscore -- he averaged 19 points, six assists and five rebounds a game in December when he was playing 35 minutes -- but I can't tell you how many scouts and other basketball heads grind their teeth watching him play, in large degree because of a perceived selfish streak. In any case, he's averaged 12.5 minutes in February so far, even with Beal battling a wrist injury."

Certainly little if anything there to refute. Crawford, who averages 13.2 points, can indeed be both productive and a migraine-inducer; Wizards coach Randy Wittman said as much earlier this season following an overtime loss in which the third-year guard dropped a triple-double. As I've written before, Crawford's ideal NBA role is that of a confident gunner - off the bench - but Wittman had little choice but to rely on the volume shooter when injuries wrecked the rotation. Now he has options and because of them, Crawford is sitting.

Monitor Twitter during a Wizards game and inevitably some will question why an offensively lacking option like Garrett Temple is playing over the point-producing Crawford (Temple's starting status stemmed from Bradley Beal's wrist injury and likely goes away when real games resume). View the rotational decision as symbolic: Temple may lack certain something something as a scorer, but the 6-foot-6 guard plays defense, buys into Wittman's ball-movement schemes and understands his limitations. Right now with John Wall, Nene and Beal around, that trumps playing those whose ball-dominant ways interrupt the offensive flow.

So, will the Wizards trade Crawford? Considering the hurdles required for any deal, the odds are long. Should they part ways with the 24-year-old? That probably depends on whether management wants to see how this recent surge with all the primary players together plays out over the final 31 games or whether 15-36 means why wait on changing up the roster. 

Let's also note Bucher does not mention any specific source or trade partner. He may simply be looking at the landscape and gauging Crawford's apparent odd-man out appearance. Nobody can argue with that assessment.