In December of 2014, the Celtics made a blockbuster move, sending all-star point guard Rajon Rondo and Dwight Powell to the Dallas Mavericks for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jamar Nelson, a 2016 first-round pick and a future second round pick. At the time, Celtics fans had mixed emotions. Some were happy to see the troubled point guard be on his way, while others were bewildered as to why the Celtics just traded their captain and floor general.
Fast forward a year, and, yet again, this trade looks like highway robbery for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics. Prior to settling in with the Celtics, Jae Crowder was known for his defensive prowess. He was regarded as relatively one-dimensional, and wasn't looked at as a serious offensive threat.
My, oh my, how the tables have turned.
Last year in 57 games with the Celtics, the now-25-year-old averaged 9.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. These numbers may not look like much, but, in the offseason, the six-foot-six Marquette product signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Celtics to keep him with the team through the 2019-2020 season.
This season, Crowder has been pushed into the starting role and flourished. In 59 games this season, Crowder is averaging 14.4 point, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists, while shooting 36% from three.
But just how high is Jae Crowder's ceiling?
As a relentless defender, and a player that exudes extreme confidence, the sky is the limit for Crowder right now. If he can continue to develop his shot, teams are going to honor him from deep, which will open up the court for teammates Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, and Isaiah Thomas.
I am not saying that Jae Crowder has the ability to become one of the best players in the NBA, but he embodies everything it means to be a Celtic. His old-school style of play fits in perfectly with this team, and I would be extremely surprised if he is not wearing a Celtics uniform for a long, long time.