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Another report Bucks interested in Jae Crowder trade, Heat and Hawks remain in mix

NBA 2022 Playoffs - Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS, TX - MAY 12: Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns. looks on during the game against the Dallas Mavericks during Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 12, 2022 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. 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 Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

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The Milwaukee Bucks may be off to a 2-0 start with Giannis Antetokounmpo playing like an MVP (again), but the franchise is always looking ahead to May and June.

Specifically, they are looking at Jae Crowder to potentially fill a P.J. Tucker-sized hole at the four. Tucker was with the Bucks for their title run but has moved on and is now yelling at his teammates in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Crowder is away from the Suns, awaiting his ticket out of Phoenix.

Reports of the Bucks being among the interested teams in Crowder are not new, although he is said to prefer a trade to Miami or Atlanta. Now comes a new report from Shams Charania of The Athletic saying the Bucks remain in the mix.

In addition to the Hawks, the Suns have recently been engaged in talks with the Bucks on a potential Jae Crowder trade, sources said. Milwaukee has registered interest in the veteran forward who has remained away from the Suns’ organization as both sides work toward a trade. Miami is also believed to be among the current suitors for Crowder, according to league sources.

In a vacuum, the Bucks can make a Crowder trade work with Grayson Allen going to Phoenix (plus maybe a pick or minimum contract), but will the Bucks want to throw in a starter to get a backup four? Do the Suns want Allen?

Part of the reason Crowder wants out of Phoenix is the Suns planned to start and give a lot of minutes at the four to Cameron Johnson and bring Crowder off the bench. Atlanta has John Collins starting at the four, and after his hot start to this season don’t look for that to change soon. Making a trade also will not be that simple now that the Hawks just extended the contract of De’Andre Hunter. Does Crowder want to come off the bench in Atlanta?

Miami has a ready-made starting spot at the four — Caleb Martin is holding it down for now — but it’s next to impossible for it to find a matching salary for Crowder until January when Martin, Victor Oladipo and Dewayne Dedmon become trade-eligible (the Suns reportedly are not interested in a Duncan Robinson-based trade).

It’s rare for any trades to happen before Thanksgiving, and this year the buyers may want to wait and see which teams struggle early and decide to pivot and chase Victor Wembanyama. After that, more trade possibilities could open up. But the Suns would rather move on from the Crowder situation sooner rather than later, once a decent offer comes forward.

That offer could come from Milwaukee.