NBA Rumors: Suns 'Demanding a Playoff-Caliber Player' in Jae Crowder Trade Packages

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 5, 2023

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 15: Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns shoots a three point basket 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

Jae Crowder has been on the trade block since before the start of the 2022-23 season, but the Phoenix Suns are looking for an impact addition in any deal.

"Phoenix has stood its ground on Crowder, sources said, demanding a playoff-caliber player in return," Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reported.

The veteran forward started all 67 games he played for the Suns last season, helping the squad produce the best record in the NBA at 64-18. He's been away from the team since September when the two sides mutually agreed to find a trade.

There has been significant interest in Crowder from around the NBA, with the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Washington Wizards among those linked to the forward. Fischer suggested the Cleveland Cavaliers could also be a good fit.

The Suns have still kept a high standard, with Marc Stein reporting the team rejected a trade featuring Wizards forward Rui Hachimura. The team is instead "holding out for a certifiable starter."

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported on his podcast that teams have found it "challenging to do trade business with the Suns."

Phoenix is a title contender at full strength, reaching the NBA finals two years ago before losing in the second round last season. It makes sense for the team to build a winner now, trying to add pieces that can help immediately rather than long-term assets.

Crowder, an experienced player on an expiring contract who can help on both ends of the court, is the team's best trade chip before the Feb. 9 deadline.

On the other hand, the Suns have been unable to work out a deal and are left shorthanded with key players Devin Booker and Cameron Johnson also out with injuries. The squad has lost four straight games to fall to 20-19 and eighth place in the Western Conference.

If the organization doesn't make a move soon, it could be too late to turn things around.