Jae Crowder has developed into a productive player on both ends of the court since being sent to the Celtics as part of the Rajon Rondo trade, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Crowder has stepped into more of a featured role in Boston and has responded by making the league’s top 10 in both offensive and defensive plus-minus rating. “He’s gotten better virtually every game,” said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle. “It’s no surprise. We loved him here. We got [Dwight] Powell back in the deal. Powell’s a good young player, too. It’s a trade that’s going to work out well for us. Probably better for them because they got some draft picks, too.”
There’s more tonight from the Atlantic Division:
- Joe Johnson‘s resurgence could make him an attractive addition for a contending team, but a deal probably won’t happen, according to NetsDaily. The reason is Johnson’s salary — nearly $25MM on an expiring contract — which means the Nets would have to take multiple players in return, with at least one probably extending into next season or beyond. That would take a bite out of Brooklyn’s estimated $40MM to $45MM in cap space, which owner Mikhail Prokhorov is counting on for a “small reset.” “They have to pray to God they can get some free agents next year,” said an unidentified league source, “overpay some guys on one- to two-year deals like Sacramento did, and hope it works out better than it is there. There’s no other way.”
- The Nets may want to clear out some of their bench players for next season, but don’t count on that happening either, tweets NetsDaily. Thomas Robinson, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and Andrea Bargnani all have player options for 2016/17.
- Sixers coach Brett Brown has joined the growing fan base of Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Porzingis posted his 16th double-double in today’s victory over the Sixers. “I think he’s going to be really special,” Brown said. “We all look at his height. I look at his competitiveness. He plays hard and appears to really love the game.”