January 16, 2014

LAWT Wire Services

 

OAKLAND—The Golden State Warriors have been searching for a suitable backup to point guard Stephen Curry since veteran Jarrett Jack signed with Cleveland as a free agent last summer.

The Warriors had hoped Toney Douglas could help fill the void — he couldn't.

Now they’re counting on Jordan Crawford for more production.

The Warriors acquired Crawford and reserve shooting guard MarShon Brooks from the Boston Celtics on Wednesday as part of a three-team trade.

Golden State sent Douglas to the Miami Heat, who traded seldom-used center Joel Anthony, two draft picks and cash considerations to the Celtics in a move that creates financial flexibility for the two-time defending NBA champions.

Miami gave Boston its 2015 protected first-round pick — originally acquired from Philadelphia — and 2016 second-round pick. If the 76ers don’t make the playoffs the next two seasons, the 2015 first-round pick will be a second-round selection.

The deal gives Golden State more scoring punch behind Curry after the defensive-minded Douglas had struggled to provide much support.

Crawford is averaging 13.7 points and 5.6 assists this season, but he became expendable with Boston expecting All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to return soon from a knee injury that has kept him out since last January. Crawford also is shooting 41.4 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from 3-point range.

Brooks had two up-and-down years with the Nets before splitting time with Boston and the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Develop­ment League this season. He’s averaging 3.1 points in 10 games with the Celtics.

Crawford and Brooks were not expected to be in uniform for Golden State’s home game against Denver on Wednesday night.

The Warriors had hoped Douglas could serve as the primary ball-handler behind Curry, but he missed 14 games because of a stress reaction in his left tibia and he hasn’t been able to find a rhythm since he returned. Douglas averaged 3.7 points, 0.8 assists and 11 minutes in 24 games this season.

For the Heat, the gains are largely financial, both short- and long-term.

Anthony was making $3.8 million this season — more than double what Douglas is earning — and is on the books for another $3.8 million next season. The deal should save the Heat more than $10 million in salary and luxury tax payments over the next two seasons, and that may help when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all decide to become free agents this summer.

“It’s always difficult trading a player like Joel who was a big part of the past two championship teams and will always be a part of the Miami Heat family,” Heat President Pat Riley said in a statement. “This trade gives us great flexibility moving forward in our journey to win an NBA Championship. Joel was a true professional who worked hard every day and we wish him the best in the future.”

And because point guard Mario Chalmers is currently dealing with an Achilles problem, Douglas also could provide some insurance there as well. Another option is that the Heat choose to simply absorb whatever's left on Douglas’ $1.6 million contract this season to open a roster spot, one that they could possibly target free agent center Andrew Bynum with.

Anthony played in 12 games for Miami this season, logging more than three minutes just four times. He scored a total of six points and has been largely an afterthought in the Heat rotation since the team signed forward Chris Andersen to be their top big-man reserve last year.

The Heat also are awaiting the return of center Greg Oden, who has not played in a regular-season game in more than four years but has been steadily progressing in a rehab program since signing with Miami in the offseason.

AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this story.

Category: Sports

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