Will Dwight Powell for Jae Crowder “Break Even”?
By Isaac Harris
With the Dallas Mavericks set to face the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, discussions about the Rondo trade have resurfaced for the Mavericks. So did the Mavericks lose that trade completely?
Coming off a bounce back win against the Nuggets, the Mavericks travel to Sacramento to face a Kings team that is being led by none other than Rajon Rondo. Rondo, to some’s surprise, has been impressive this year by averaging 12 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds a game with four triple doubles on the year.
Mavericks fans know nothing of this Rondo as the only memories surrounding the Rondo is the off court tensions, on-court struggles and ugly departure from Dallas this past spring.
Going back to last December, the Mavericks traded Jae Crowder, Brandon Wright, Jameer Nelson, a protected first-round pick, and a second round pick for Rondo and Dwight Powell. A trade that looks obviously bad now, but a trade I would do over and over again at that point in the season.
With the looks of things, the Mavericks first round pick this coming summer will go to the Celtics. The first round pick and Rondo got the talk, but what about Powell and Crowder? Could they possibly equal out? Cuban thinks so…
Nov 27, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) reacts after a basket during the first half against the Washington Wizards at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
According to Tim MacMahon, Mark Cuban told reporters in Boston “There’s a lot of risk I’ve taken that have worked out just fine. They’re not all gonna work. I think when it’s all said and done, that Crowder-for-Powell trade will be a break even.”
I find that comment interesting because of the player that Crowder has turned into and the minutes he is getting on a playoff team in the Eastern Conference. But even though the Mavs are a little over 15 games into the season, I think Powell could potentially get to that level.
This past offseason Crowder re-signed with the Celtics on a five-year 35 million dollar deal as he quickly established himself after the trade as a long-term piece in Boston’s future. The 25-year-old is averaging 11 points and 5 rebounds on almost 30 minutes per game.
Crowder has made his name on the defensive end for the Celtics as he has become their primary wing defender against some of the best in the game. To go with his top-notch defense, Crowder has improved on the offensive end as he is shooting his highest three-point percentage in his career.
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Buried in the Rondo trade, Dallas obtained rookie forward Dwight Powell who had been riding the bench in Boston. The 24-year-old out of Stanford came to Dallas with his sights set on a new chapter in his career.
This season Powell is putting up the best numbers in his young career as he is averaging 9 points and 6 rebounds on 21 minutes a game. He is one of the first players off the bench and has been a constant threat on the boards and his mid-range shot.
So could Dwight Powell and Jae Crowder eventually even out?
At this point I think most reasonable fans would say that Crowder has the upper hand, but I don’t think Cuban is being unreasonable to think that Powell could be at Crowder’s level eventually. Obviously playing time drastically helped Crowder become what he is now, so what if Powell received the same amount of playing time?
According to basketballreference.com, Powell (per 36 minutes) would be averaging 16.0 ppg and 11.7 rpg. That would be a productive starting power forward in the league for some teams but he will continue to be limited for as long as Dirk stays around.
Powell has grown on me over the course of this short season so far with his non-stop hustle and improved jump shot. He is a nice complement to Dirk off the bench and isn’t afraid of anyone in the paint, but I have my hesitations about him equaling Crowder.
Powell would have to improve his defense drastically and lock down a consistent post game before I would say he deserved a contract like Crowder received. My main hesitation rests solely on his lack of playing time he will get in Dallas and the belief I have in that Dirk still has at least a couple of years left in the tank.
I believe this is a complete toss-up, but what do you think?
Do you agree with Cuban and think that Dwight Powell for Jae Crowder will “break even”?