For previous “Making the Leap” posts click below:
Trades are always happening in the NBA and sometimes it affects more players than others, bad or good. In the third post of “Making the Leap” I talk about a player involved in the Rajon Rondo deal back in December.
Jae Crowder was selected 34th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2012 NBA Draft. Immediately after being selected he was shipped to Dallas. He had an impressive summer league averaging close to 17 points a game and was named to the All-Summer league team. With a strong preseason, the then rookie, earned a spot in the Rick Carlisle rotation. He payed in 78 games (started 16) his rookie year averaging 5.0 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. His second year was more of the same as he saw action in 78 games (started 8) again averaging 4.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. This past season when he was on the Mavericks, he had career lows across the board and had fallen out of the rotation. Once he was traded to Boston it gave him new life, having career highs in just about every category.
Jae Crowders 2014-2015 final season averages:
With Dallas: 3.6 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.6 steals & 0.2 blocks in 10.6 minutes per game. Played in 25 games and started none.
With Boston: 9.5 pints, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.4 blocks in 24.2 minutes per game. Played in 57 games and started 17.
You can just tell on paper that the trade definitely saved his career. With the extra minutes opportunity in Boston he proved that he could be a great defender that also gives it 100% whenever he is on the court. He is also a fan favorite which reminds me of a former Celtic who had the same scenario as Crowder once he left to go to another team (Tony Allen ring a bell?).
Here is the thing with the Boston Celtics, they have too many guys on their roster right now and most of us aren’t sure what there regular season lineup is going to look like. Right now they have three small forwards with Evan Turner & Jonas Jerebko. On opening night I do see Turner getting the nod to start however Crowder will get his minutes and will be heavily used in the rotation, especially after signing him to a 5-year, $35 million extension. That being said we could see him starting later on in the season if Coach Brad Stevens wants to make certain adjustments.
The Celtics have a lot of unique players. We know what Jae Crowder can bring to the table, especially being a tough minded defender and that is always full of energy on the court. As the season progressed he also proved that he can be a reliable scorer. I predict that he will make and All-Defensive Team or even be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate if not this year, certainly in the next couple of years. I am a fan of Crowder so I can’t wait to see how he improves now that he has half a season with the team as well as a whole summer/training camp with Boston. I really guess you can say that not only did Boston win the Rondo deal when no one expected it, but it helped out Crowder make a name for himself in this league.