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Phoenix Suns reportedly close to Jae Crowder trade

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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Sure, there are anonymous reports, but maybe the best sign things are getting close to a Jae Crowder trade comes from the man himself.

The Suns have been looking for a Crowder trade since last summer but have yet to find a deal that worked for them, it’s hard to find a trade sending out a win-now player and getting the same thing back (the Suns don’t want picks and prospects). That may be about to change according to multiple reports.

The question is where would Crowder be traded?

The Miami Heat have interest and a need for a veteran at the four, but a deal has never been close with them. The recent reports of the Suns demanding Max Strus be part of any trade — which is a non-starter for the Heat — may have been a last shot by the Suns to get the Heat to up their offer. The only way a Heat trade works is if the Suns take on Duncan Robinson, but then Phoneix would have to send out another rotation player — someone such as Cameron Payne — to match salaries, and that’s not going to happen. No deal was likely with the Heat until after January, unless there is a three-team trade in the works (something that has been rumored, with Robinson heading out or Miami).

There have been multiple reports of the Bucks having interest in Crowder, and a trade can work with Grayson Allen going to Phoenix (plus maybe a pick or minimum contract). But would the Bucks do that? Do the Suns want Allen? Crowder is said to prefer a trade to Miami or Atlanta.

Crowder can give a team solid minutes at the four, spacing the floor from the corners, playing physical defense, and being someone the coach can trust in the postseason. Both the Bucks and Heat are looking to fill a P.J. Tucker-sized hole in their lineups, and Crowder fits that role.

It would be the first trade of the season, and while his getting delt isn’t a surprise — he’s demanded a trade and been away from the team — there has been plenty of interest around a landing spot.