Jae Crowder Could Return To Milwaukee As Bucks, Suns Work Out Potential Deal For The Veteran Forward
Ever since Jae Crowder and the Phoenix Suns agreed to go their separate ways during training camp, rumors have swirled that the veteran forward would eventually end up with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Those rumors only got worse this week when the Suns reportedly gave the Bucks permission to meet with Crowder and his agent to discuss a potential deal before the Feb. 9 trading close.
From a basketball perspective, Crowder, 32, would be a perfect fit for the Bucks, particularly on defense, and his ability to shoot from the perimeter would go a long way to boosting an offense currently ranked 16th in 3- Points lies shooting percentage.
Such a fit won’t come cheap, however, and the Bucks are constrained by a number of factors, most notably their current salary cap and luxury tax situation and a lack of draft capital that could help see a potential deal through.
Crowder is making $9.2 million this season, the last under a three-year, $29 million deal he signed with Phoenix in 2020.
But the Suns are likely to ask for more in terms of draft picks, and the Bucks will be hampered in that regard after losing their first-round picks from 2023, 25, and 27 and an NBA rule preventing teams from making first-round picks exchange, have dealt consecutive years.
What general manager Jon Horst has at his disposal is a plethora of second-round picks with six picks through the 2027 draft.
A likely scenario would involve a third team taking part in the negotiations, although Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reported last week that such a deal with the Bucks, Suns and Washington Wizards fell apart when Rui Hachimura, who was involved in the alleged proposal after Phoenix would have gone was eventually sent to the Lakers for Kendrick Nunn and a trio of second-round picks.
Other reports suggest the Bucks offered shooting guard Grayson Allen to help Crowder, but such a deal was of no interest to Phoenix, while more recent reports have Milwaukee naming Serge Ibaka, Jordan Nwora and point guard George Hill along with one Package of forward draft decisions to close a deal.
Although he has not played this season, Crowder appeared in 67 games (all starts) for Phoenix in 2021-22, averaging 9.4 points on 39.9% shooting, including 34.8% on 3 points -Try to come up with 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals.
A move to Bucks would mean a homecoming of sorts for Crowder, who played two seasons in Milwaukee with Marquette, where he won 2012’s BIG EAST Player of the Year and became only the fifth player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points, having only played two seasons.