The Wizards have agreed to trade disgruntled guard Jordan Crawford to the Boston Celtics in exchange for injured guard Leandro Barbosa, according to multiple league sources. Another person with knowledge of the Wizards’ plans said that the team would also receive veteran big man Jason Collins.
Barbosa, a close friend of Wizards forward Nene, won’t suit up for the team this season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament on Feb. 11 in a loss to Charlotte. His $1.2 million contract will come off the books after this season and the deal would provide a $2.2 million savings for next year, which would be the last of Crawford’s rookie deal.
Boston was looking to add some back-court depth after also losing all-star point Rajon Rondo to a torn ACL earlier this season. Crawford was the Wizards’ third-leading scorer this season, averaging 13.2 points and 3.7 assists, but had recently fallen out of the rotation and did not appear in any of the past four games.
The Wizards (15-37) aggressively shopped Crawford, looking to acquire a draft pick in return, but the third-year shooting guard didn’t attract much interest despite leading or tying the Wizards in scoring in 17 games. Washington also spoke to the Dallas Mavericks about a possible deal but focused in on Boston since the Celtics had an obvious need.
According to a league source, the Celtics offered Fab Melo, a 7-foot rookie from Brazil who appeared in just four games this season. The Wizards, though, had no interest in taking back salary beyond this season, especially for a big man who remains a project. They opted for the financial savings instead.
Crawford’s questionable behavior during the Wizards’ 96-88 loss to Toronto on Tuesday, when he slouched over and wrapped a towel over his head. Afterward, Crawford tossed his jersey and shooting shirt into the stands with disgust.
Crawford became expendable when John Wall returned from injury, Bradley Beal emerged as a reliable scoring option and the team performed well in his absence. The Wizards were 5-3 in the past eight games that he missed.
In his first 31 games, Crawford averaged 15.6 points on 41.8 percent shooting and 4.6 assists in 29.8 minutes. But after Wall made his debut, Crawford appeared in just 12 of the 19 games and averaged just 6.9 points on 40.3 percent shooting and 1.2 assists in 16.9 minutes.
The Wizards had hoped that Crawford would accept his role as a sixth man off the bench, but he was resistant. The team also played better when he wasn’t on the floor. With Crawford on the bench, the Wizards scored more (92.8 points, compared to 86.4), shot better from the field (44.3 percent to 40.7), and had more assists (23 to 19.3). They were 1-11 in his 12 starts and 5-12 when he led the team in scoring.
Since Barbosa is on a minimum deal, his salary is valued at around $858,000 on the cap, so Collins was added so that the salaries would match up.
Collins, 34, is averaging 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds this season with the Celtics. He has career averages of 3.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 12 seasons in New Jersey, Memphis, Atlanta and Boston. He has also committed more fouls than points in six of his past seven seasons.