Crowder Tweets, deletes response to report Monty Williams didn’t want to coach him
It’s not a big secret the relationship between Monty Williams and Deandre Ayton was a little frosty. To put it kindly.However, Ayton wasn’t the only guy Williams didn’t love coaching on the Suns, according to a rumor from the well-connected John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM in an appearance on HoopsHype Podcast with Michael Scotto.
I had a player on the team tell me that Monty told TJ [Warren] he was going to role with his guys in the playoffs... The Jae Crowder situation was all on Monty. He told people he was too difficult to handle and coach. Monty didn’t want Jae. It wasn’t the Suns organization. He didn’t want Jae around. As far as Deandre Ayton, Monty didn’t want him either. He wanted them to trade him to Indiana for Myles Turner. He didn’t like coaching Ayton...
Monty’s a good coach and a player’s coach, but he’s a player’s coach for the players he likes, but he wasn’t in on Jae and Deandre.
Crowder responded on Twitter, but has since deleted the Tweet. ClutchPoints got a screengrab.
Jae Crowder responds to rumors that Monty Williams didn't want him on the Suns 👀— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 20, 2023
"The Jae Crowder situation was all on Monty. He told people he was too difficult to handle and coach. Monty didn’t want Jae. It wasn’t the Suns organization. He didn’t want Jae around."
Williams has not commented publicly but likely would deny everything. Crowder’s issues with Williams and the Suns had more to do with them giving Cameron Johnson the starting four spot, even though that was the right decision. It is also common for a team and its players to disparage a coach on the way out the door, but Williams is laughing all the way to the bank after signing a $78.5 million deal to coach the Pistons.
The Suns did trade Crowder to the Bucks as part of the massive four-team trade that brought Kevin Durant to Phoenix. Crowder didn’t get much more run under Mike Budenholzer — in the Bucks’ first three games against the Heat he played almost 41 minutes, but across the last final two games he played just :18 seconds. Crowder is now a free agent.
The Suns didn’t trade Ayton... yet. The consensus around the league (and echoed by Gambadoro on the podcast) is that Phoenix wants to trade Ayton and his $32.5 million for a couple of quality role players. However, new coach Frank Vogel has talked up Ayton, in case he is still on the team because Vogel will need him to be a drop-coverage defensive force in the paint if the Suns are going to get enough stops to be a true force in the West next season (nobody should be questioning their offense).