Former Boston Celtics wing Jae Crowder has set the rumor mill in motion following a cryptic post on his Twitter page.
“Change is inevitable…Growth is optional!! I believe it’s time for a change…I wanna continue growing,” Crowder Tweeted on August 1.
Crowder has been with the Phoenix Suns for the past two seasons, reaching the NBA finals in 2021. Since joining the Western Conference franchise, Crowder has participated in 127 regular-season games, averaging 9.7 points, five rebounds, and two assists per game while shooting 40.2% from deep and 36.9% from the perimeter.
Since his time in Boston, Crowder has proven himself to be one of the NBA’s most reliable three-and-d wings, bringing composure, veteran leadership, defensive versatility, and reliable shot selection – all of which have played a big part in the rapid development of the Suns over the last two years.
Crowder Expected to Interest Miami Heat
During the 2019-20 NBA season, Crowder spent some time on the Miami Heat roster, playing a total of 20 regular-season games, and a further 21 playoff games, as he helped the Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals. During his time with the Heat, Crowder proved his versatility, as he made an impact while playing at both the small forward and power forward positions.
And now, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinal, the Heat – one of the Celtics’ biggest conference rivals – could be tempted into orchestrating a reunion with the veteran wing – assuming they can reach an agreement with Phoenix.
“Jae is due $10.2 million this coming season on the final year of the three-year contract he signed when he left the Heat in 2020 free agency after helping lead the Heat to the 2020 NBA Finals. Because the Heat does not have available cap space and lack a trade exception, they would have to send out a matching salary for such a trade,” Winderman wrote in his August 3 article.
There’s no doubt that Crowder would fit perfectly with the current rotation in Miami, but finding a way to make the salaries work could be problematic – of course, if Miami and Phoenix are truly interested in making the deal work, they will surely find a way to get the money in line.
Joe Johnson Impresses in Pro Am Game
While Miami is coveting Crowder, and the former Celtics wing is debating his next move, former Celtics wing Joe Johnson has been putting people on notice while participating in an AEBL Pro AM game in Atlanta.
While Johnson did look impressive, it’s unlikely we will see him back in the NBA in the coming season – unless a team is looking to add him as a locker room impact guy – similar to that of Udonis Haslem in Miami.
Johnson spent 10 days with the Celtics last season, signing with the franchise via the hardship exemption, and whilst he was with the team, he made a big impression on the team’s young stars, something which left Ime Udoka and the coaching staff impressed.
So, if Johnson is willing to embrace an end-of-bench role, there might be a team willing to give him a short-term deal – but it’s more likely that we continue to see ‘Iso Joe’ balling out at these types of Pro AM events.