Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder was mentioned in NBA trade rumors throughout November, and a potential three-team deal involving the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks fell through.
“Multiple league sources said the Suns recently engaged in three-team talks that would have sent Jae Crowder to Milwaukee, four Bucks second-round draft picks along with players to Houston, and Eric Gordon and/or Kenyon Martin Jr. to Phoenix,” said Shams Charania of The Athletic.
“The hold up in the potential three-teamer was that the Rockets are coveting a first-round pick for Gordon, and for Martin a very good first-rounder, not a batch of second-rounders, according to sources. The Rockets have had interest in Gordon from several contending teams, sources said, but appear less willing to entertain the topic of Martin.”
“(Phoenix) recently, I’m told, engaged in a three-team deal that would’ve sent Jae Crowder to Milwaukee.”
— The Rally (@TheRally) December 12, 2022
According to a couple of NBA betting sites, the Suns possess the fifth-best odds to win the championship in 2023. Sportsbooks are giving the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors better odds to win the Western Conference.
In November 2020, Crowder signed as a free agent with the Suns on a three-year, $29.16 million contract. For the final year of his deal, the 10-year veteran is earning $10,183,800 this season.
Suns forward Jae Crowder could have been traded to Bucks in a three-team deal involving Rockets
Last season, in 67 starts, the forward averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Plus, he shot 39.9% from the field and 34.8% from 3-point range.
Equally important, he finished 16th in steals per game, eighth in defensive rating (105.3), 12th in steal percentage (2.4%), 16th in defensive win shares (3.4), and sixth in defensive box plus/minus (2.4).
During the 2022 Western Conference Finals, the wing scored 19 points in Game 3 of the Suns’ 103-94 loss against the Dallas Mavericks. Crowder shot 7-of-12 (58.3%) from the floor and 5-of-8 (62.5%) beyond the arc.
Furthermore, Jae Crowder and the Suns came to a mutual agreement that he would sit out during training camp and throughout the 2022-23 season until the team finds a suitable trade partner.
The Suns recently engaged in three-team talks that would have sent Jae Crowder to Milwaukee, four Bucks second-round draft picks along with players to Houston, and Eric Gordon and/or Kenyon Martin Jr. to Phoenix
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) December 12, 2022
If Jae Crowder was traded to the Bucks, he would have provided extra firepower for the Eastern Conference contender. As a starter, he can average double-digit points. So, is Milwaukee one reliable forward away from topping the Boston Celtics with a healthy Khris Middleton?
Offensively, the Bucks are a mediocre team at the moment. Milwaukee is averaging 112 points per game, ranking 17th overall in the league. And the team is shooting 45.6% from the floor as well. For a playoff team, this is nothing special.
On the other hand, Giannis Antetokounmpo makes them one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. They’re allowing 107.5 points per game, which ranks second behind only the Cleveland Cavaliers (105.1).
With Jae Crowder, the Bucks would be one step closer to winning another championship. Barring a major injury, the former Celtic can prove his worth on any title contender.