Pick up your jaw, basketball fans, the much-anticipated NBA trade deadline is upon us, and it’s been as thrilling as we all hoped. Well, not really. More than blockbuster, it’s been a Sunday night B-movie with the missus, and there’s cameos from Dexter Pittman, Jordan Crawford, and an expiring Leandro Barbosa (contract, not player).
The Miami Heat and the Memphis Grizzlies, who have been shifting personnel like a game of musical chairs, have sealed a deal that will send forward-center Dexter Pittman to Memphis. Pittman will suit up for the Grizzlies as part of a deal that includes a 2013 second-round pick (which would be 59th, if dealt today). Miami will get the rights to Ricky Sanchez as well as a trade exception.
The move comes after the Heat projected their long-term plans to be with big man Jarvis Varnado, and played Pittman, who is only 24, a total of just 324 minutes across the span of two years. Most of his time with the Heat was spent proving his worth in the D-League.
With the deal, the Grizzlies bolster their bench and add more size to an already dangerous frontcourt, without having to unload player salaries onto Miami because of multiple trade exceptions they had been harboring. Miami opens a spot on their 15-man roster limit, putting them in position to go after other bench pieces. Pittman has only averaged a measly 1.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, on 60 percent shooting, but did so in only three minutes of play. Citing Zach Randolph as a role model, Pittman might be able to learn under a talented full-bodied big man that Miami has lacked for years.
With Bradley Beal emerging as a good complimentary piece to John Wall, the Washington Wizards have effectively reduced Jordan Crawford’s playing time. As a next logical step, the Wizards have now shipped Crawford to the Boston Celtics who gave up Leandro Barbosa’s expiring contract. (The speedy guard from Brazil tore his ACL just a few weeks back).
Essentially, Crawford would be filling a similar, if not identical role as Barbosa, as both players can put up buckets in a hurry but offer questionable defense and shot selections.
The move will be good for Crawford, as being 24, he’ll have enough time to improve defensively under a team that has always prided itself on its defensive prowess. If Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce remain with the C’s, which it appears they will, Crawford might not have a choice in the matter. The worst case scenario for Jordan is that he’ll remain an offense-only weapon on a team that has scrappy wing defenders in Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, and Rondo (when he feels like it).