This time it’s well and truly over, in any case it’s on its way. After two seasons and 127 games played for the Suns, including 109 as a starter, Jae Crowder will probably no longer live in Phoenix in a few weeks. This is what the franchise announced yesterday, even preferring to put its player on the sidelines during the training camp in order to find him a way out as quickly as possible.
Dallas, Boston, Cleveland, Utah, Memphis, Miami, Phoenix. Ten NBA seasons for Jae Crowder, seven franchises and therefore soon an eighth for the 32-year-old veteran. NBA finalist in the bubble in 2020, with the Miami Heat, the small post 4 who became a 3 and D elite had joined the Suns project in the process, perhaps aware that something was happening in Arizona, after, precisely, a summer of 2020 that looks like a message from Devin Booker and his sauces. Two years later ? An NBA final in 2021, a disappointment in the Conference semi-finals in 2022, but above all for the Suns the unofficial status of the best team in the League if we rely on the win / loss record. Jae Crowder was not for nothing, the pit bull having brought his big mouth back to town, his pressure moves for opponents and sometimes even for his own teammates, then on the field his defensive skills and an essential X-factor role in offensive. A potential holder, a position 3 who plays 4 because he loves to rub shoulders with buses and offer spacing to his coaches, in short, a very important protagonist of the last two Suns campaigns.
Crowder’s last three NBA seasons have consisted of back-to-back runs to the NBA Finals (Miami 2020, Phoenix 2021) and league- and franchise-best 64 wins for the Suns in 2021-22. Crowder has been a key part of the Suns rotation; team has gone 115-39 in his two seasons. https://t.co/AtQHo5ecUE
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 25, 2022
Yeah but lo and behold, the loss to the Mavs last May forced Suns staff to rethink the project, and while kiddos Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges were locked in for the future, that wasn’t the case for Jae, free agent next summer after a 2022-23 season during which he will take a small check of 10 potatoes. It’s now official the Suns and Crowder don’t want to dance together again, and the idea seems to be for Phoenix to use a very sought-after currency to recover an extra coin or two from a roster that doesn’t have to suddenly not moved too much this summer. A soldier with a much more estimable contribution than his stats would indicate (9 points and 5 rebounds approximately, at 35% of the parking lot), Jae Crowder will undoubtedly delight his future employer and can already boast of to have done his job more than well during his two years with the Suns, he who has – coincidentally – always been at the heart of winning groups, and who is above all subject here to the Suns’ desire to bounce back differently, by trying something else .
A two-year lease on track to end therefore, and a Jae Crowder who will leave Phoenix with the memory of a somewhat bipolar attacker but above all of an intense and central role player in an almost perfect project. Logically the Suns should already have had a few phone calls, it remains to be seen what Monty Williams will recover in exchange.