When the Boston Celtics signed free agent forward Gordon Hayward away from the Utah Jazz this summer, it was only the start of a busy offseason for the team.
However, by adding the star forward to the roster, Jae Crowder felt like he was the odd man out when it came to Boston's starting lineup.
Obviously, that proved to be a moot point as Crowder was soon dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers alongside Isaiah Thomas, Ante Zizic and a pair of draft picks in the trade that netted Kyrie Irving for the Celtics.
During his introductory press conference with the Cavs on Thursday, Crowder said he went to the Boston front office before his trade to ask about his role with the team for the 2017-18 season, citing concern about the number of wing players the Celtics had on the roster (via Yahoo! Sports):
“I had a little concern because we had a lot of wing players stacked up. I was a little concerned, and I made it clear to the organization that I was concerned about it and I just wanted some more direction, you know?" he said during the press conference. "I think they gave it to me with the trade. They gave me what they wanted to do. They showed me what they wanted to do. I respected it.”
Now, it'll be interesting to see how Crowder fits in with the new-look Cavaliers, who already have two starting forwards in LeBron James and Kevin Love.
Crowder said leaving Boston was difficult, but he's excited for his new opportunity in Cleveland and wants to do what he can to help his new squad reach the NBA Finals for a fourth-consecutive season:
“That day was tough, but it was a good day for my basketball career, to move on to an organization like the Cleveland Cavaliers and to be able to put myself into position to play for it all,” he said on Thursday. “I couldn’t ask for nothing else. I was thankful to Boston for everything they’ve done for me and for trading me to a team like this. I was thankful for the opportunity. That day was pretty wild.”
Playing alongside LeBron and Love will be an exciting adventure for Crowder, who may slide into a reserve role like he probably would have in Boston, anyway.
However, when the Celtics and Cavs meet up this regular season, the former Celtic will be sure to give his old squad his best effort.