NBA Trade Rumors: Suns Eyeing Max Strus in Jae Crowder Talks with Heat

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 12, 2022

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 10: Max Strus #31 of the Miami Heat dunks the ball against the Charlotte Hornets during the second quarter at FTX Arena on November 10, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Lauren Sopourn/Getty Images)
Lauren Sopourn/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are still looking to deal forward Jae Crowder, who has been inactive this season after he requested a trade in September.

And they reached out to the Miami Heat about a potential deal, Ian Begley of SNY reported Saturday:

"One trade that may happen sooner than Dec. 15? Jae Crowder getting moved in Phoenix. Crowder has been away from the team while the Suns canvas the league for potential deals.

"Miami is among the teams Phoenix has touched base with on a Crowder deal. Per SNY sources, some with Phoenix see Miami's Max Strus as an integral part of any return for Crowder. I'd assume that Miami would be reluctant to move Strus in a deal for Crowder."

The 26-year-old Strus is in his fourth NBA season. He's averaging career highs of 32.2 minutes, 14.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.8 steals per game with 44.7 percent shooting.

The 32-year-old Crowder, who has played 10 seasons, averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game for the Suns last year. He started all 67 games he played.

There were murmurs that Crowder wanted a trade after being told he wouldn't start, but B/R's Chris Haynes relayed that Crowder said that was not true.

Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes

My <a href="https://twitter.com/NBAonTNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBAonTNT</a> in-game report on my conversation with Suns forward Jae Crowder, who is away from the team and waiting on a trade: β€˜It’s definitely not true of the narrative being pushed about me starting or not.’ <a href="https://t.co/QL41N3Njub">pic.twitter.com/QL41N3Njub</a>

Crowder will be a free agent after this season. He would be a solid two-way asset for any team that acquires him, whether it be to start or come off the bench.

Strus emerged as a valuable piece for the Heat during the playoffs last year. He notably averaged 14.0 points per game in the team's first-round series win over the Atlanta Hawks. Strus also averaged 19.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in the team's final two games of a second-round victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

He's remained an integral player this year as the fourth-highest scorer on the team. Like Crowder, Strus also will be a free agent after this season, but he's certainly a candidate to re-sign.