How Jordan Crawford Can Help the Celtics

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When asked who is the most expendable Celtic, most fans will tell you it’s Jordan Crawford. Crawford has been labeled as immature and redundant on a Celtics roster loaded with shooting guards.

There is, however, still a chance that Jordan Crawford could stick around on this Celtics team.

As we are all aware, Rajon Rondo will be out for the beginning of the season, making the opening day starting lineup a guessing game. One of the concerns Brad Stevens has voiced is that it will be difficult to implement a new offense once Rondo arrives, as guards like Bradley, Lee, Brooks, and Pressey can’t do nearly what Rondo can running an offense.

The only way the Bradley-Lee pairing worked last year was because Pierce took the responsibility of being a playmaker. Alongside Green and traditional big men like Humphries, Bass and Sullinger, the Celtics would have no way to be creative offensively.

Although he is a LONG way from being Rondo, Crawford possesses a playmaking ability that makes him resemble Rondo more than the other guards on this roster. The Celtics could give the ball into the irrationally confident hands of Crawford at the beginning of the season.

Crawford could also not be given the opportunity to start, but run the backup point guard duties to assess his capability at the position.  If he performs well, then he could be thrown into the starting job, or be a reliable sparkplug off the bench. Worst case scenario, Crawford turns the ball over too much, shoots too much, and is replaced quickly by Brooks or Lee/Pressey.

Yet the best case scenario could reap significant rewards. Imagine that Crawford becomes more disciplined, and shows his craftiness with the ball. Crawford’s trade value rises and his small salary could easily be added to a package deal with Humphries or Wallace or any other trade.

No one should underestimate the power of a contract season. Players perform significantly better when they know pay-day is on the horizon. I could imagine Crawford having a breakout season knowing he needs a new contract next summer. Playing with his irrational confidence and swagger, he could flourish in a guard-run, wide open offense that the Celtics are likely to implement.

Crawford also said that he is becoming a leader on this team. While the validity of that statement should be severely questioned, let’s just imagine that he is becoming somewhat of a leader. Maybe Crawford realizes that it is time to mature, and that would certainly help a rebuilding Celtics team.

All Celtics fans have low expectations for Jordan Crawford this season. If Crawford never plays a game and is waived by the team or shipped out for a top-55 protected second round pick, no one will be surprised.

But wouldn’t it be nice if Crawford came to his senses, had a better season his second time around in Boston, and contributed to a team in desperate need of contributions?

- Follow Larry Flynn on Twitter. @LEFly41

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