LOS ANGELES — Jordan Crawford, traded to Boston from Washington on Thursday for Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins, finds himself in unfamiliar territory now -- surrounded by veterans.
How he handles that will go far in determining his role with the Celtics and even more important, his future as an NBA player.
Crawford's talent has never been in question.
It's how he has used that talent -- often selfishly at times -- that concerns many.
In Washington, Crawford was surrounded by a slew of players just as young as he was.
So there was indeed a lack of veteran leadership and accountability throughout his time there.
But he has no excuse now, not with a Celtics team that's brimming with savvy veterans who have been in just about every situation imaginable.
"It's a perfect situation for him," C's guard Jason Terry told Comcast SportsNet. "We have a great veteran group of guys that definitely take the young guys under our wing. He's young. He's athletic. He can shoot. So we welcome the talent."
So does Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.
"He's a scorer," Rivers said. "And losing Barbosa who was our scorer off the bench, we really felt we needed to replace that. We needed another guard in general. We're hoping he can do that. Obviously I'm hoping this is a fresh start for him. He's had his good days and his bad days. We want him to have a lot of good days."
Barbosa suffered a season-ending torn left ACL and sprained MCL injury earlier this month.
Rivers has heard the stories about how Crawford would benefit from the veterans he will be surrounded by in Boston.
"That's what we're hoping for," Rivers said. "At the end of the day, you're going to have to grow up yourself and play. We're going to give him every opportunity to do that."
Pierce was pleased that the Celtics added some backcourt depth, but disappointed that it came at the expense of Collins.
"Probably could have used another big man," Pierce told CSNNE.com. "We got rid of a big man (Collins). I don't know how I feel about that, especially with KG (Kevin Garnett) playing like 40 minutes a game. Maybe we'll pick up somebody to relieve some of the pressure off of him."
In the meantime, Pierce will do whatever he can to help the C's improve.
Part of that involves providing veteran leadership to all the players, but especially new guys like Crawford.
While it seems a no-brainer that Crawford will join the C's and embrace the opportunity to be mentored by players like Pierce, the Captain understands all too well that it probably won't be that easy.
"When you got a young guy who has been around young players, it's hard for him to understand discipline; understand winning," Pierce said. "He hasn't really been around that. He's going to get a taste of it out here. It's a different pace, a different change; the attitude you have to have when you're around veteran leadership and winning."