The Celtics’ wheeling and dealing continued Wednesday as they traded guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to Golden State in a three-team swap.
The Warriors shipped guard Toney Douglas to Miami, and to round out the deal, the Heat sent Joel Anthony and a pair of future protected draft picks to Boston.
One of the picks is a lottery-protected first-rounder that originally belonged to Philadelphia. The Celtics will receive that pick this season if it’s not in the lottery (picks 1-14).
If that pick is in the lottery, though, the Celtics still have a shot at it a year from now, but only if it’s not in the lottery next season.
And if the 76ers do, in fact, miss the playoffs this year and next, then that pick would turn into two second-rounders, one each in 2015 and 2016.
Factoring in previous trades, the Celtics could have as many as 17 draft picks over the next five years, with as many as 10 of those in the first round.
“I love the idea of we’re really looking with a vision to be as good as we can be for as long as we can be,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said before Wednesday night’s game against Toronto. “I think we’ve got, not only with Anthony, but with all these picks that are just adding up and adding up and adding up, you’re going to have a lot of flexibility moving forward.”
Anthony, a 6-foot-9-inch forward/center who is in his sixth season, comes to Boston after playing 37 total minutes in 12 games for the Heat this season. Anthony is owed $3.8 million next season, which is more than Crawford was owed this season ($2.16 million). It’s a steeper price, and it’s basically what the Celtics paid for in future assets. Anthony is expected to join the team on Thursday.
“I’ve seen him play since he was of high school age, and obviously he’s got great strengths, specifically as a defender in the paint and on pick-and-rolls,” Stevens said. “I have not watched enough yet of him, but when he gets to town, we’ll work on it.”
In essence, the Celtics obtained future assets that will help their rebuilding process in exchange for players that they did little to obtain and who, in all reality, didn’t have much of a future in Boston.
The Celtics did downgrade in talent, as their backup point guard spot now falls to undrafted rookie Phil Pressey and possibly the recently acquired Jerryd Bayless, though Rajon Rondo is expected to return to the lineup as soon as Friday.
“There’s different ways to look at it,” Stevens said. “Obviously, we lost a guy that can create his own shots certainly in Jordan, that I thought really embraced his role as a ball-handler for us and did a good job.
“Bringing in Jerryd, we’ve added another ballhandler, which is a positive, and we’re adding again another ballhandler in Rondo. Being able to add a person [Anthony] that can protect the rim and defend the paint, I think helps our team, because it’s one area where we haven’t been as strong defensively. At the same time, obviously, there’s a lot of positive things to the future with those picks that are involved in it.”
The Celtics acquired Crawford from the Washington Wizards last season at the trade deadline. In that deal, the Celtics gave away two players (Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins) who are no longer in the league. Essentially, the Wizards, who were looking to dump an unhappy Crawford, gave away the guard for next to nothing, and the Celtics turned that into something.
Now, including a draft-night deal, Crawford has been traded four times in four years. He was having a career season with the Celtics, averaging 13.7 points, third-most on the team, and 5.7 assists, while filling in for Rondo, who has been sidelined all season while recovering from knee surgery. With Rondo about to return, Crawford was going to be headed to the second unit.
As for Brooks, the former Providence College standout came to Boston as a throw-in in last summer’s blockbuster deal with Brooklyn. But Brooks, who was originally drafted by the Celtics, never found his way out of the logjam at shooting guard.
He played just 73 minutes in 10 games for the Celtics, who at one point sent him to the Maine Red Claws, their Development League affiliate, for a five-game assignment.
“MarShon really came along,” Stevens said. “You know he can score the ball. His minutes weren’t as easy to come by . . . It was a lot harder for him to get on the floor. But at the same time, he has a bright future, as well.”
The deal marked the Celtics’ second in roughly two weeks, and the players remaining in the locker room said it was business as usual.
“Trades happen, nothing we can do about it,” Jeff Green said.
Was there a feeling that anyone of them could be next?
“No, I think these guys understand it’s a business,” said Jared Sullinger. “And I’m pretty sure their agent is on top of everything. That’s why we pay them our 4 percent. So they know ahead of time, it’s not a surprise.”