The Trade Deadline Exchange, Part 2
Zach Lowe and Bill Simmons [ARCHIVE]
February 22, 2013
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If you missed Part 1 of the Simmons-Lowe Trade Deadline E-mail Exchange Fiesta (we're still working on the title), CLICK HERE. For Part 2, we picked things up in real time with time stamps and everything.

Simmons (2:07 p.m. EST): Hey Zach — less than an hour before the deadline and our three biggest Thursday trades have been headlined by Dexter Pittman, Jordan Crawford and Bassy Telfair. Right now, I'm refreshing Twitter every 20 seconds while trying to decipher from Sekou Smith's NBA TV interview with Josh Smith whether Josh wants to get traded or not. (My final verdict: Sort of.) Oh, and I'm trying to figure out how Boston landed Crawford for Leandro Barbosa when Barbosa's left knee currently doesn't have an attached ACL. I feel like my eyeballs are going to come flying out of my head. Too much going on, only nothing's going on. Is this why people start taking Adderall?

Lowe (2:13 p.m.): Well, Atlanta and Milwaukee might take us to the deadline on Smith, and we'll probably get at least a couple of little deals that trickle in before the deadline … right? The Pittman and Telfair deals are essentially irrelevant — insurance policies for teams that don't really need them. The Heat cut some money from their tax bill, and the Grizz — out a first-rounder to Cleveland, and another to Minnesota — get a second-round pick for their troubles. I'm sure the Grizz had higher hopes for their trade exceptions, especially the $7 million-plus one they got via the Rudy Gay deal, but here we are.

Simmons (2:15 p.m.): Can't say I love what Memphis did (assuming they're done). They spent a future first-rounder to give away two decent bench guys (Ellington and Speights, both of whom play for Cleveland) to save money, then they traded Rudy Gay to save money … um … why did they have to make BOTH trades? Confusing. (Note: I also would have kept Jose Calderon over dealing for Prince's contract; I just think he's a better player and would have made them more interesting. They could have always found a stopgap swingman closer to the deadline. That's what Prince is at this point — at least the Prince I've been watching these last two to three years. Maybe it's just my TV.) But wait … you don't think Bassy Telfair is a good backup?

Lowe (2:20 p.m.): Before getting to Bassy, you're right that the scrutiny of the Rudy Gay deal should start with the pick Memphis gave the Cavaliers, and not really the Rudy trade itself. But I've covered that at length here, and the finances aren't so simple.

Back to Bassy: I don't really get the rush to give up anything of value, even just a second-rounder and player you'll never use (Hamed Haddadi), for a third point guard. John Lucas III is a shoot-first, shoot-second, shoot-third backup point guard, which can drive coaches crazy — especially a staff that wanted Jose Calderon over the more aggressive Kyle Lowry. But third point guards are like bullpen catchers: Why give up anything to get one, since you're screwed either way if your team reaches a point at which it actually has to use that player?

Simmons (2:22 p.m.): I'm biased toward Bassy; I may have seen the three best games he's played over the past two years in person (all against the Clippers). He loves going against Chris Paul. Plays him as well as anyone. I wish I could delete the part of my brain that knows things like this.

Lowe (2:23 p.m.): What do you make of the Jordan Crawford deal? Will KG murder him this week or next week? Do you care at all?

Simmons (2:25 p.m.): I didn't mind it … they gave up someone who currently can't walk for him. My rule with these things is that, if the contracts are equal, you always want the guy who can walk over the guy who can't walk. Crawford belongs in that Nick Young/John Lucas/Nate Robinson group of Irrationally Irrational Confidence Guys, which is a level below the true Irrational Confidence Guys (Jamal Crawford, J.R. Smith, etc.). When he's hot, you ride him. When he's not, you sit him. Of course, Doc couldn't stand coaching Robinson. So this will be interesting. I've always had a soft spot for Crawford dating back to his Xavier days — there's always room in a 10-man rotation for someone who can catch fire NBA Jam–style, and he's one of the ultimate "no-no-no-YES!" shooters. Did you like the deal for Boston?

Lowe (2:29 p.m.): Funny you mention Young — one league exec made this exact comparison to me just a couple of hours ago. Young was a crucial player in one pivotal playoff game last season — Game 1 in Memphis, the Clippers' massive comeback — and Crawford, for all his warts, may do something similar for Boston this season. His shot selection is egregious, he'll struggle to guard wing players, and the Wizards' offense has basically died when he's played the point this season. Point guard in Boston is a shared duty now, so hopefully the Celtics will never lean too heavily on Crawford in this way.

Simmons (2:33 p.m.): According to ESPN.com's Jeremy Lundblad, Jordan Crawford is one of seven players averaging an 18-5-4 per 36 minutes, joining LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Harden, Westbrook, and Manu. You know what's the most amazing thing about that stat? Jordan Crawford is averaging five assists per 36 minutes????? I don't think I've ever seen him pass. By the way, David Aldridge's ability to do a live studio show while tweeting and gathering info at the exact same time is amazing. I'm so impressed.

Lowe (2:36 p.m.): In Crawford's defense …

1. He played limited minutes with John Wall and Nene, meaning Crawford has gotten little opportunity this season to play alongside Washington's best offensive players — a trend that makes his on-court/off-court splits look terrible. But they are terrible, and they were last year, too.

2. He's nearly a league-average 3-point shooter this season, a big step up, and he can create a 40 percent shot off the bounce against anyone. That's valuable when the shot clock is running down. He really only takes 40 percent shots, but that's a different story. Boston could use his creativity and long-range shooting, but they have a ton of weird combo-style guards now in Crawford, Jason Terry, Avery Bradley, and Courtney Lee. At least one should be elsewhere by next year's tipoff.

3. He did make a real effort to pass more this season when the Wiz used him as a de facto point guard, but those lineups failed so miserably they almost broke the NBA.com stats database. He's putting up a career-high assist rate, as you mention. He might win a playoff game — or, more accurately, a playoff quarter — but he's not a player I'd really want on my team for the long haul. Washington just gave him away for nothing after benching him almost upon Wall's return, which feels a bit spiteful on the Wizards' part. Very little harm, very...
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