NBA Executives Confused By Suns’ Handling Of Jae Crowder Trade

Phoenix Suns, Jae Crowder, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Phoenix Suns are looking to shake up their lineup for the 2022-23 NBA season after a disappointing end to the 2022 postseason when they were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round. One of the moves they sought to make was expanding the role of Cam Johnson.

With Johnson looking at a starting spot, that meant Jae Crowder was going to have a reduced role. That was not something he wanted, so Crowder requested a trade from the team so that he could land with a team that would present him with a larger role.

A few teams have emerged as potential suitors, with the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks being his preferred options. The Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers that have been mentioned as contending teams would love to add the experienced Crowder to their rotation.

Crowder is currently away from the team awaiting a resolution to his trade demand. It is something that many are surprised by. One Eastern Conference executive that spoke to Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports was surprised that the Suns didn’t push back more against the trade request.

“For Jae to hold out is pretty rare. It’s pretty extreme,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “It’s really interesting they didn’t just play hardball with him.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jae Crowder & Phoenix Suns Updates

There has been a lot going on with the Suns in the last few weeks and months, so maybe they didn’t want to cause any more waves by playing hardball with a respected veteran. Trading Crowder would also provide the team a chance to upgrade the roster as their second unit could use some help.

However, until a deal is found, the Suns are putting themselves in a tough spot. Without Crowder and with Johnson stepping into the starting lineup, Phoenix’s already shaky depth has taken another hit.

“I thought the way Phoenix played the situation was strange,” one Western Conference executive told Yahoo Sports. “You’re not a super deep team. You’re a contender. Doesn’t it seem like there’s some other way to resolve this other than him sitting out and hurting your depth?”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jae Crowder & Phoenix Suns Updates

It is certainly a peculiar decision and certainly a risky one. The other contenders in the Western Conference improved this offseason while the Suns stayed pat despite having some needs on the roster.

We will have to see if this ends up costing them in the early going. The games in October and November count just as much as the ones in March and April and the Suns cannot afford to be giving any away.

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