Jae Crowder has refused to play a single game for the Phoenix Suns all season. He requested a trade during the summer and has waited patiently for one to unfold. The bad news for Crowder is that Phoenix has been in absolutely no rush to honor his request. He has wasted an entire half a season waiting around for nothing to happen. With the trade deadline in two weeks, it might be time that his wish is finally granted.
Plenty of teams are going to be interested in the services of Crowder. He is a 3 & D role playing PF that can help elevate any team in a playoff push and fit in. Heat Nation witnessed that when Miami acquired him at the 2020 trade deadline. He played alongside Bam Adebayo in the starting line up and flourished in the Heat’s system.
He hit big shots and helped spread the floor on route to an NBA Finals berth. Not to mention taking on almost any defensive match up he was asked. Crowder fit in like a glove, and was a big factor into the team’s success in the bubble. That’s why Pat Riley and Heat brass have been linked to the PF since his initial trade request.
Since he has been here before, Riley knows exactly what a player like him brings. The interest is certainly there… as it has been from the very beginning. The problem is Phoenix’s asking price:
The Phoenix Suns are seeking two of the following three things in exchange for the Jae Crowder:— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) January 26, 2023
• A first-round pick
• A good young player
• A solid rotation player
(Via ESPN’s Zach Lowe / h/t @HoopsRumors ) pic.twitter.com/ACb7rFjk55
That is definitely a little much to ask for in return of the services of a player who hasn’t even touched an NBA court this season. A swap that has been rumored is Crowder for Caleb Martin. The Suns would love a deal like that, and could make it almost guaranteed Crowder lands here if Martin is on the table. However, Miami has no interest in that.
Report: Miami Heat not willing to offer Caleb Martin to Phoenix Suns for Jae Crowder https://t.co/eKhKIUmFxi— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) January 26, 2023
It would make sense why Phoenix would want Martin’s services. He is similar to Crowder, as they have almost identical stats from this year with Martin compared to last season when Crowder played. Martin is putting up 9.9 PPG and 4.7 RPG while shooting 38% from 3. In the 2021-2022 season, Crowder put up 9.4 PPG to go along with 5.3 RPG.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article that the Heat had a “standing offer” from Phoenix.
Caleb Martin was indeed in that offer. However, on Miami’s end their standing offer was reportedly more along the lines of Duncan Robinson. Maybe even throw in a second round pick or two as a sweetener.
I’m sure Miami would want to hold onto Martin to back up Jae Crowder (if acquired) and make the forward rotation stronger. Having them both on the same team could even move Martin back to his natural SF position off the bench to back up Jimmy Butler. It looks like a deal for Crowder could come down to the very last minute on deadline day February 9. He has been available all season and yet haven’t been able to get a deal done.
Therefore, no teams are willing to bite on Phoenix’s asking price. It’s very possible that they end up lowering that price on deadline day to just try to avoid losing Crowder for nothing. Other than that, a buy out is another route they could choose to go. Miami picking up Crowder off the buy out market is very likely. At that point it’s like free agency except getting the player for a bargain price. Crowder liked his time in Miami and even spent time in the city a lot since leaving.
There could very well be unfinished business between the Miami Heat and Jae Crowder. It will be interesting to see if that business continues after this trade deadline passes.