Ex-Celtics Starter Makes Decision Following Teammate’s Injury: Report

Jae Crowder

Getty Jae Crowder #99, Phoenix Suns

Former Boston Celtics starter Jae Crowder has yet to play a game this season. After mutually agreeing to part ways with his current team, the Phoenix Suns, before the season started, the Suns have yet to find a trade partner for Crowder. The possibility of Crowder returning came up when one of his teammates went down.

Cameron Johnson, who plays the same position as Crowder as a wing, tore his meniscus on Nov. 4 and has opted for surgery that will keep him out for one to two months, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. With Johnson out for the time being, could that open the door for Crowder to return to the team to play? Windhorst gave the inside scoop on that front.

“The timeline is not welcome news for the Suns, who are thin at forward with veteran Jae Crowder away from the team until a trade can be worked out.

“Despite Johnson’s injury, there is no change to the situation with Crowder, and there are no current plans for him to return to the team, sources said.”

The Suns have managed well without Crowder, as they have started the season 7-3, but not having Johnson nor Crowder hurts their wing depth.

Crowder Clarified Situation With Suns

Windhorst reported on Sept. 26 that Crowder requested a trade because he “was informed over the summer that he may lose his starting job this season.” TNT’s Chris Haynes reported that, according to Crowder, what Windhorst said was not true.

On October 26, Haynes revealed during the Suns-Warriors game what Crowder told him regarding his fallout with the Suns. Crowder did not go into detail regarding why he wanted a trade but said not being a starter did not factor into his request.

“Honestly, this is unfamiliar ground for me,” Crowder told Haynes. “This is my 11th year, and I’ve always been in camp and started the year off with my team. The business of basketball has taken its course, and changes have come. I do not want to get into the details just yet, but it’s definitely not true of the narrative being pushed about me not starting or not. I can honestly say that.”

Crowder is currently in the last year of the three-year, $29 million contract he signed with the Suns in 2020.

Are Celtics Interested in Reunion?

An Eastern Conference executive revealed to Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney that the Celtics are interested in Crowder but also explained why a trade isn’t likely as well as what it would take for the Celtics to reunite with Crowder.

“They’d be interested in him if there was a deal to be made, but there is nothing that makes sense there. They’re interested. Every team is interested, but it is hard to line up the contracts in a way that makes sense. Are the Celtics going to give up Payton Pritchard and Grant Williams to get Jae Crowder? Of course not. They’re not giving up Derrick White for him. So where is the offer? There is no move there that makes sense. ‘Not interested,’ a lot of times, that just means we don’t have the pieces to make a deal.

“If they were to buy out Crowder, I guarantee you the Celtics would be at the front of the line trying to sign him.”

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