Ex-Celtics Starter to Part Ways With West Contender: Report

Jayson Tatum, Jae Crowder

Getty Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics handles the ball against Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns.

It’s been five years since Jae Crowder last played for the Boston Celtics. Since then, he’s spent time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Utah Jazz, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, and Phoenix Suns. Crowder was slated to play his third year with the Suns. That was until Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Crowder and the Suns have agreed to part ways as both sides hope to work out a trade.

Crowder, who is in the last year of the three-year contract he signed with the Suns in 2020, is slated to make $10,183,800 for the 2022-23 season, according to Spotrac. In the 10 years he’s played in the NBA, Crowder has been traded five times, but this is the first time he’s worked with his team in the hopes of getting traded.

In light of this development, Celtics fans have voiced that they would like Crowder back on the team, knowing his role in making the Celtics relevant again from 2015 to 2017 and Crowder’s extensive playoff experience.

It would be hard for them to pull it off without trading a valuable piece of their rotation, knowing how much Crowder makes. Nonetheless, Crowder has been a valuable rotation player in past playoff runs with the Celtics.

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Crowder Hinted He Wanted Out

On September 23, Suns beat writer Duane Rankin tweeted out an article in which he told Suns fans multiple plotlines coming into camp for fans to look out for. Crowder quote-tweeted (then quickly deleted) Rankin and said that “99 (Crowder’s jersey number) won’t be there.”

It appeared the writing was on the wall that Crowder’s time with the Suns was over before Charania confirmed that the two sides were working on a trade. It remains to be seen if they can get a trade done before the season starts or who could offer a satisfactory deal to the Suns for Crowder.

What works against them in that regard is that Crowder’s contract is expiring. Teams do not like giving much up value-wise for role players like Crowder if there’s no guarantee that he will be back for future seasons.

Shortly after it was announced that Crowder and the Suns were parting ways, Tim Reynolds reported that Crowder would be open to a reunion with the Heat if it were up to him.

Crowder previously played half a season with the Heat, where he helped them make the 2020 NBA Finals before joining the Suns that very offseason.

Crowder Was Available to Trade For

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Crowder had, in fact, been available to acquire on September 19.

“(The Suns) are in trade negotiations right now. A lot of them are centered around Jae Crowder. Jae Crowder is a player who’s available on the market right now. Whether or not there’s going to be a deal for him that materializes before now and next (year’s) trade deadline, we’ll have to wait and see.”

At that time, Windhorst listed Bojan Bogdanovic as a possible trade target for Phoenix in which Crowder could have been on the table, but that is no longer an option after Bogdanovic was traded to the Detroit Pistons for former Celtic Kelly Olynyk.

The Suns are likely to be looking for a veteran player who will help them in their playoff run in return for Crowder.

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