After he walked (and played) in Gilbert Arenas’ shoes, and before he became a Washington Wizard, Javaris Crittenton played for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies. My immediate reaction is that while I’m sorry to see Antonio Daniels go (I have love for him too), I like the idea of Crittenton’s youth, potential, and size (who doesn’t like a 6’5″ PG?).
But before I get into doing a bunch of research on the kid’s past, I wanted to asked some NBA bloggers from LA and Memphis their opinion about Crittenton. Thanks to Kurt of Forum Blue & Gold and Josh of 3 Shades of Blue for providing their thoughts. Read on…..
Kurt from Forum Blue & Gold:
When the Gasol trade went down last season, the only twinge of regret for fans was losing Crittenton. Well, there was really no twinge of regret, but Lakers fans were sad to see Crittenton go. I haven’t seen him play in a year, but his game has potential with a capital “P.” He’s long, very fast, played hard on defense, was developing a shot, and he can get to the rim. He played a little out of control, especially for the rather controlled triangle offense the Lakers run, but that was a matter of youth and maturity. He could develop into a quality player in this league. He’s just in the weird spot a lot of young players are: He needs run to develop, but he can’t get run because coaches can’t sacrifice wins for experience. So he sits a lot.
Put it this way: A lot of us thought Crittenton could overtake Jordan Farmar as the number two PG on the Lakers eventually. The thing we knew was that Farmar has a crazy strong work ethic, and I honestly don’t know if Crittenton has that same fire. But he had the talent to do it, if he could harness it.
[In case you didn't know, the Lakers lost to the Kings last night, FB&G has some thoughts on that.]
Josh from 3 Shades of Blue:
Javaris Crittenton is a great athlete. He was a top-flight PG prospect coming out of high school, but has played more combo guard or straight SG since being drafted. Critt is more of a scorer than a passer, which is one of the reasons that he has found it difficult to get off the bench in Memphis this year after playing well at the end of last season after coming over in the Pau Gasol trade. At the young age of 20, he’s still got a lot of untapped potential and upside that could see the light of day on a team that doesn’t currently have Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo and Kyle Lowry already on the roster.
Looking over your roster, I see that you now have an all new PG rotation of Mike James and J-Critt, replacing the departing Antonio Daniels (who has a Grizzlies conneciton in his own right) and the waived Dee Brown. Prepare for some “growing pains”, as Crittenton is only in his second year (and now his third team), but expect to see flashes of the player that had everyone in Memphis excited last spring. Given your current backcourt situation, I suspect that he’ll get a lot more playing time than he was able to garner on the crowded Grizzlies roster. If his playmaking skills continue to develop, then he could be a long-term solution as a combo guard 6th man for the Wizards.
[LA photo source: flickr/Just A Slice; Memphis photo source: flickr/Exothermic]