It’s not often that a role player has the power to force a trade — particularly when their team is firmly within title contention. Yet here we are, 14 games into the Phoenix Suns season without so much as an inkling that Jae Crowder could return to the rotation following his training camp trade request. Nonetheless, numerous credible NBA Insiders are suggesting that we could see a resolution to the dispute sooner than expected.
Crowder, 32, is in the last year of a three-year contract that he signed with the Suns starting in the 2020-21 NBA season. They reached the NBA Finals that year and ultimately came up short against the Milwaukee Bucks. Crowder saw a downturn in his productivity in the following year, failing to reach a contract extension with Phoenix as they asked him to take a bench role so that sharpshooter Cam Johnson could enter the starting five. They’ve been at an impasse ever since.
NBA Insiders believe Jae Crowder will be traded by the Phoenix Suns shortly.
Reports came out following an Instagram story post by Jae Crowder, who simply put a ticking clock on a black background. Longtime NBA journalist Marc Stein suggested via his Twitter and Substack that he heard “credible rumbles” about a Crowder trade coming to fruition. That was seconded by a report from NBA Insider Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, stating the following:
If this is true, the Suns might be receiving some backup just in the nick of time. Future Hall of Famer Chris Paul and the aforementioned Johnson have been sidelined in recent games, forcing the Suns to rely on backups to steer the ship in the right direction. Luckily for Phoenix, superstar shooting guard Devin Booker and NBA iron man Mikal Bridges have answered the call.
Still, reinforcements would pay off in dividends for a Suns team with genuine NBA Finals aspirations. They have been a superb regular season team in the last several years despite falling apart repeatedly once the Playoffs come around. Adding veteran depth to bolster the rotation as they hold onto the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference couldn’t come at a better time.
No further details were offered on which team is most interested in trading for Jae Crowder, or why a third team must be involved, but details will surely trickle out once a deal is completed.