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What is holding up Suns’ Jae Crowder trade? Could still be Sarver.

Suns owner Robert Sarver

Jan 10, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver talks on a cell phone against the Orlando Magic at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Sarver is suspended from running the Phoenix Suns, and minority owner Sam Garvin is the acting governor running the team day-to-day while a sale of Sarver’s share of the team to Mat Ishbia is finalized (he is currently being vetted). Sarver has no say over the operations of the Suns...

Except, there are a couple of things where he does. One of them is Sarver would need to approve any trade where the Suns would take on salary above a certain number.

Which brings us to Jae Crowder. The Suns have been looking to trade the disgruntled forward since before the season. They recently came close to a three-team deal that would have involved the Bucks, but that may have been held up because of the Sarver approval factor, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Sarver still has to give personal sign-off on any deal for a player with a salary that is more than the current “average player salary,” multiple league sources confirmed to ESPN. This would include any luxury tax payments, which the Suns are currently projected to pay.

The current average player salary is $10.8 million. Crowder’s salary is $10.2 million. And the Suns, according to sources, have had talks about various multiplayer trades over the past few months that would all likely have to end up on Sarver’s desk.

Crowder asked for a trade heading into this season when the Suns would not give the 32-year-old power forward a contract extension, and instead told him he would lose his starting job to Cameron Johnson. Crowder has not been subtle about wanting out.

The Suns are stumbling, having lost 6-of-7 and they will be without Devin Booker until the end of this month (at least) — even Deandre Ayton thinks they are not showing enough fight (and if he’s saying it...).

Phoenix needs a shake-up, they are not out of it in a wide-open West, but they have issues to fix. A Crowder trade would be a good start, but the man who held this franchise back in many ways — even before his workplace behavior came to light — is doing it one last time.