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NBA Trade Rumors: Wizards Among Teams Eyeing Suns' Jae Crowder Ahead of Deadline

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 30, 2022

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 15: Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns arrives to the arena before the game against the Dallas Mavericks during Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 15, 2022 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images

As Jae Crowder remains on the trade block, the Washington Wizards have reportedly emerged as a potential suitor for the Phoenix Suns' estranged forward.

"There's been some chatter about them looking at a guy like Jae Crowder," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective podcast Wednesday (h/t RealGM). "I'm pretty confident there's been some discussions between the Wizards and the Suns. We've been talking about Jae Crowder now for about two months. It's obvious it's a hard trade to pull off. The Wizards have a bunch of guys who make decent salaries on their roster they can use in a trade."

Windhorst added that the Suns are seeking a power forward in any Crowder deal, and the Wizards are fairly loaded at the position with Kyle Kuzma, Rui Hachimura and Deni Avdija on the roster.

It seems unlikely Kuzma will be moved, as he's thriving this season, averaging 20.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, though he's shooting just 31.3 percent from three. He and Avdija (7.6 PPG, 5.1 APG) have largely served as the team's starting pair at forward, with Hachimura (11.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG) coming off the bench.

Crowder, 32, would give the Suns an injection of experience and scrappy defense. The veteran forward averaged 9.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last year in Phoenix, shooting 34.8 percent from three, but had a falling out with the team over the offseason.

Per Windhorst, "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."

Crowder, for his part, denied those reports:

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: ‘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>

The irony is that the player he lost his job to, Cam Johnson, is now likely out until some point in 2023 after requiring surgery on his right meniscus.

But Windhorst reported earlier in November that "despite Johnson's injury, there is no change to the situation with Crowder, and there are no current plans for him to return to the team, sources said."

It appeared as though the Suns were getting closer to a trade in mid-November, with multiple reports suggesting talks had progressed.

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

There have been some credible rumbles this week that the Suns have made progress on finding a trade resolution to the Jae Crowder saga. Crowder's cryptic IG story appears to address to feed into that notion ... <br><br>More NBA from me: <a href="https://t.co/A6ycVmnrjq">https://t.co/A6ycVmnrjq</a> <a href="https://t.co/Mghglx0fXP">https://t.co/Mghglx0fXP</a>

Jake Fischer @JakeLFischer

Word is the Suns appeared close to finalizing a three-team trade involving Jae Crowder prior tip-off tonight against Golden State. <a href="https://t.co/VTRjU3HBRu">https://t.co/VTRjU3HBRu</a>

Nothing has happened as of yet, however, though the Wizards reportedly are taking a closer look.