Myers on Crawford trade: 'We think we upgraded our talent'
Stephen Curry is averaging 37.7 minutes per game, sixth most in the NBA. Klay Thompson's 37.8 minutes rank fifth in the league. (AP)
Programming note: Coverage of Warriors-Thunder begins Friday at 6:00 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
OAKLAND – The newest Warriors, guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks, are not expected to join the team until Friday in Oklahoma City. Their coaches and teammates will be waiting, thankful for any help they might provide.
"Great job by (general manager) Bob Myers and this ownership group to make us better," coach Mark Jackson said prior to Wednesday night's game against Denver. "We are getting a guy in Crawford who can score the basketball and MarShon Brooks . . . they'll have opportunities and we'll see how that plays out."
Both players were acquired from the Celtics Wednesday morning as part of a three-team trade involving Boston and Miami. The Warriors sent backup guard Toney Douglas to Miami, while the Heat sent big man Joel Anthony to the Celtics.
Crawford is a terrific athlete who can player either guard spot but spent most of this season as a playmaker in the absence of Celtics star Rajon Rondo. The Warriors envision Crawford – a poor man's Monta Ellis, if you will – as an explosive player who can spell Curry at the point.
"Jordan Crawford is a proven guy that can come off the bench and score," forward David Lee said. "I've scrimmaged with him plenty in the offseason and I know how capable he is at putting points on the board."
Though Lee and his teammates are looking forward to the additions, guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson must be delighted at the prospect of having their workloads reduced. Curry is averaging 37.7 minutes per game, highest among point guards and sixth in the NBA.
Thompson's 37.8 minutes rank fifth in the league.
Those minutes are necessary largely because the Warriors for most of this season have had the least productive bench in the league.
"If I had to play him that many minutes, I would be fine with that," Jackson said. "But in an ideal world, I know there will be a demand on his body when it matters most and when we are playing our most important games.
"Getting a guy like Crawford allows us to rest Steph a little bit more without the fear of blowing ballgames."
Though Myers said before the game that the team was not necessarily done dealing, the general manager thought his management will do whatever it takes to improve the product. For evidence, see the acquistions of Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala over the past couple years.
"We know from the summertime, and from the last year and half or two years, that they are going to be active, trying to make our team better," Lee said. "They saw a weakness in our team – statistically our first unit is among the best in the league but we've had some trouble keeping that up when the bench came in. So the natural thought is to go find some people.
"We've said from the start that one of the most important things is that everybody's on the same page, with the front office working just as hard as the players and the coaches are. They've proven once again that they're doing that."