The Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat are potential suitors for Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, with Crowder and the team reportedly agreeing to sever ties.
The Rally @TheRally
"Sources tell me that both the Suns and Crowder are now working toward finding him a trade out of Phoenix...Look for teams like Boston, Memphis, Dallas, Miami."<br><br>NBA Insider <a href="https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShamsCharania</a> reports on the Suns looking to find a trade partner for veteran forward Jae Crowder. <a href="https://t.co/sAVkxXumh8">pic.twitter.com/sAVkxXumh8</a>
Crowder asked to forgo training camp, which the Suns agreed to, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst. Windhorst added that "Crowder was informed over the summer that he may lose his starting job this season, sources said, and it prompted him to request a trade."
Windhorst added that the Suns "had discussions about it throughout the summer but hadn't found a deal yet."
A Crowder trade is almost a foregone conclusion at this point.
"Jae brought a number of intangibles to the team, I think all of our guys would speak in that way about him," head coach Monty Williams told reporters Monday at the team's media day. "At the same time these things happen and you have to transition and move forward. I totally am behind [general manager James Jones] and how we are handling this."
It's been a rocky summer for the Suns. From a personnel standpoint, the team didn't agree to a long-term contract extension with young center Deandre Ayton and ultimately matched the four-year, $133 million offer sheet he signed with the Indiana Pacers.
Ayton seemed less than enthused with that outcome when asked about it on Monday:
The Suns were also one of the reported teams that Kevin Durant requested to be traded to this summer, only to eventually rescind that request and agree to a return with the Brooklyn Nets.
And now, the looming Crowder divorce.
But the Suns are also dealing with the aftermath of the NBA's investigation into managing partner Robert Sarver, who was accused of multiple instances of using racist, misogynistic and sexist language.
Sarver was ultimately suspended for the entire 2022-23 season and fined $10 million by the league as a result of that investigation, but amidst a public outcry for a stiffer punishment from the NBA or an outright resignation from Sarver—including from LeBron James and Suns minority governor Jahm Najafi—Sarver ultimately agreed to sell the team.
There is a far different vibe around these Suns than there was heading into the 2021-22 playoffs just four months ago. That Suns team had reached the NBA Finals the year prior and was the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference after a 64-18 regular season, carrying with them legitimate title hopes.
Instead, they were shockingly ousted by the Dallas Mavericks in seven games of the Western Conference Semifinals and now head into the 2022-23 season trying to navigate immense turbulence.
The murky future of Crowder—who was a solid two-way player for the team over the last two seasons, averaging 9.7 points and five rebounds per game while shooting 36.9 percent during his time in the desert—is just the latest jostle.