Jordan Crawford spent his last four games as a Washington Wizard on the bench watching his teammates. After seeing no playing time for the fourth consecutive game Tuesday, the contest ended with a frustrated Crawford taking off his jersey and tossing it into the stands.
Just before the NBA trade deadline Thursday, the Wizards parted ways with the third-year guard, sending him to the Boston Celtics in exchange for injured guard Leandro Barbosa and veteran center Jason Collins, both of whom have expiring contracts and will become free agents this summer.
Barbosa won't put on the Wizards uniform yet. On Feb. 11, he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee that will cause him to miss the rest of this season. Collins, a 12-year-veteran, has averaged 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 32 games for Boston. Crawford's departure saves Washington slightly less than $2.2 million, which he is scheduled to receive next season in the final year of his rookie contract.
The exit marks the end of a fast decline for Crawford (13.2 points per game, 3.7 assists per game, 3.1 rebounds per game), who was the Wizards most important offensive player during the team's short-handed first two months of the season, leading the squad in scoring 17 times. Without John Wall for the first 33 games of the season due to injury, and rookie Bradley Beal still adjusting to the NBA, Crawford carried the load in the backcourt. In 13 games in December, he averaged 19.1 points, 6.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds. The Wizards posted a 3-10 record during that span.
Crawford was permanently demoted after arriving late for a morning shootaround on Dec. 26, 2012. He scored 23 points off the bench in a 115-113 double-overtime loss to Brooklyn on Jan. 4, a contest that was decided by his own missed free throws and turnovers. A sore left ankle caused him to miss four games, he returned to hit a game-winning 3-point shot in the Wizards' 98-95 victory at Portland on Jan. 21.
The downward spiral lessened what Washington was able to get for him in a trade. Crawford came to the Wizards at the trade deadline in 2011 along with Mo Evans in exchange for Hilton Armstrong and Kirk Hinrich. In his rookie year, he had 39 points against Miami and posted a triple-double (21 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds) in a win over Cleveland.