NBA Rumors: Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat Eye Jae Crowder

Power forward Jae Crowder wants out of the Phoenix Suns. and the “3-and-D” role player could end up with the Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, or Miami Heat in a trade.

Jae Crowder, forward from the Phoenix Suns, is seen here celebrating a victory at Footprint Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. Crowder and the Suns agreed to part ways after he asked for a trade. (Image: Getty)

The Suns denied Crowder a contract extension. To add insult to injury, the team told Crowder to expect his role to diminish this season, with forward Cam Johnson slated to take his spot in the starting five. In the meantime, Crowder is sitting out of the preseason while waiting for the Suns to honor his trade request.

One must seek work where he is wanted, where he is need,” tweeted Crowder. “I am thankful for what these past two years have taught me. Now, I must take on another challenge with continued hard work and dedication. For those of you who closed the door on me… thank you! ”

In the last two seasons with the Suns, Crowder started in 109 out of 127 total games. He averaged 9.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. He also shot 37% from 3-point range.

In 13 postseason games last season, Crowder averaged 9.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. He struggled shooting only 3.2% from 3-point range.

Crowder has played for seven NBA teams during a ten-year career. He had stints with the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavs, Utah Jazz, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, and the Suns.

Crowder Trade Talk: Back to the Heat?

Crowder is of the reasons why the Miami Heat secured a spot in the 2020 NBA Finals. He was the ideal 3-and-D guy on a team lead by Jimmy Butler. Crowder knew his specific role: play hard-nosed defense, and find an open spot on the perimeter for a wide-open 3-pointer. That’s the kind of veteran the Heat were lacking the last two postseasons. Head coach Erik Spoelstra knows what Crowder brings to the table, so he’d be a good fit with the Heat.

The Heat have interest in Crowder too, sources say, but finding matching salary is tough until Dewayne Dedmon, Caleb Martin and Victor Oladipo become trade-eligible in the winter,” reported ESPN’s Zach Lowe. “Martin might start, and the Heat are optimistic Oladipo can play a huge role.”

In 21 postseason games inside the NBA Bubble in 2020, Crowder averaged 12 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assist per games with the Heat. He also shot a blistering 44.5% from 3-point range. The Heat eventually lost to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals. But Crowder impressed numerous general managers across the league.

The Phoenix Suns acquired Crowder shortly after the 2020 NBA Finals, and wanted him to play a similar role with the team. Crowder joined Chris Paul as savvy veterans on a young squad that included rising stars like Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.

The Suns gave Ayton a contract extension in the off-season, but they had to decline Crowder’s extension for financial reasons. With Crowder getting squeezed out in Phoenix, the Heat would love to have him back on heir roster.

Hawks, Bucks Eyeing Crowder

The Atlanta Hawks recently engaged the Suns in a trade discussion for Crowder. However, the Hawks lack the necessary cap space to add Crowder. They’d have to shed payroll to make any deal happen.

Center John Collins has grown unhappy with his diminishing role in the Hawks’ offense, so he’s been on the trade block since last season. The Hawks would like to move Collins, but it’s unlikely he’d be involved in a trade for Crowder.

The Hawks could deal guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (15.1 ppg) to the Suns for Crowder and a throw-in player like shooting guard Landry Shamet. The Suns would rather acquire swingman De’Andre Hunter (13.4 ppg). But the Hawks would be foolish to give up one of the top prospects and the former fourth-pick in the 2019 NBA Draft in favor of a 32-year old veteran role player.

The Milwaukee Bucks are trying to win their second title since 2021, but need a “3-and-D” veteran like Crowder that can replace PJ Tucker. Tucker joined the Philadelphia 76ers and will try to help Joel Embiid and James Harden win a title in Philly.

Can the Suns a Title Win Without Crowder?

Chris Paul is not getting any younger, so Phoenix’s window to win a championship gets smaller every season. You have a feeling that this upcoming season has a desperate “now or never” vibe for Paul. The Suns got close two seasons ago, but lost to the Bucks in the 2021 NBA Finals. Yet instead of trying to smooth things out with Crowder, the Suns could trade him to a team like the Bucks that’s trying to win another championship.

The Suns are +1200 odds to win the 2023 NBA championship as the sixth-highest team on DraftKings’ futures board.

The Suns are +225 odds to win the Pacific Division for a third season in a row. But they are the third-overall favorite behind the Los Angeles Clippers (+180) and Golden State Warriors (+205).

During the 2021-22 season, the Suns posted the best record in the NBA at 64-18. However, the Suns were upset in the Western Conference Semifinals despite securing the #1 seed in the postseason. Everyone is still talking about how the Suns imploded against the Dallas Mavericks during one of the craziest Game 7 meltdowns in NBA history.

Heading into the start of the regular season, the Suns are in the middle of their own PR firestorm. Team owner Robert Sarver put the Suns up for sale. That’s after the NBA suspended the brash billionaire for one year and fined him $10 million for racist language and fostering a horrible workplace.

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