Phil Jackson’s Biggest Regret With Knicks? Passing On Jae Crowder In Trade

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Jae Crowder

Call them a “super team” if you want, but the New York Knicks are a dumpster fire and have been for a long time.

When team president Phil Jackson was hired in 2014, he was supposed to change that. Spoiler alert: He hasn’t. And while there are several questionable trades and signings we could put under the microscope, we’ll let Jackson explain what he believes the dumbest thing he has done is, as he did when speaking with Today’s Fastbreak’s Charley Rosen.

From Today’s Fastbreak:

“I think the biggest mistake I made was actually this … One of the first deals I engineered when I came back to New York was to trade Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas for Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert, plus a second-round pick that the Mavs owed to the Celtics. In talking with Boston, I was given the option of taking that pick or else taking Jae Crowder. I liked Crowder but I thought he wouldn’t get much of a chance to play behind Carmelo, so I took the pick which turned out to be Cleanthony Early. While Cleanthony has missed lots of time in the past two seasons with us, he still has the potential to be a valuable player. Even so, I should have taken Crowder.

“Anyway, for all of us, making mistakes are part of the learning process.”

That Chandler trade took place in June 2014. Six months later, Crowder was a throw-in in the deal that sent Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks.

In a season and a half since then, Crowder has been the heart and soul of Boston’s rejuvenation. His numbers aren’t glamorous — about 12 points, 5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. But his hustle, grit and defense have led the Celtics back onto the map, making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons and even wooing prized free agent center Al Horford to Causeway Street. Crowder narrowly missed a spot on the NBA’s All-Defense teams last season.

Maybe next time, Phil.

h/t to WEEI

Thumbnail photo via Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports Images

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