Celtics Potentially Interested in Reunion With Ex-Starter: Report

Jayson Tatum, Jae Crowder

Getty Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics drives against Jae Crowder #99 of the Miami Heat.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that former Boston Celtics wing Jae Crowder and his current team, the Phoenix Suns, have agreed to part ways. By doing so, the two sides will work to find Crowder a new team for the 2022-23 season.

Charania later followed up that report on Crowder with details regarding who could potentially make a deal for him. In short, Charania believes the teams who could be interested in Crowder’s services are teams he had once played for, including the Celtics themselves.

“Sources tell me that both the Suns and Crowder are now working toward finding him a trade out of Phoenix,” Charania said. “When you think about what teams could be interested in Jae Crowder, I would look at the team that he’s played for. Look for teams like Boston, Memphis, Dallas, Miami especially, as teams that could be interested in Jae Crowder”

Charania later added what Crowder’s appeal as a player could be to those teams.

“He’s a 3/4 that can play defense, can make shots, brings a great level of energy and culture to your organization as well.”

Crowder is coming off a season where he averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from three.

Former Teammate Hints He Wants Crowder Back

After Charania reported that Crowder and the Suns were parting ways, Crowder took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the matter. From the way he made it sound, Crowder wants to play for a team that makes him feel both wanted and needed.

After Crowder sent out his tweet, Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant quote-tweeted Crowder while including arrow emojis that said “back soon.”

Morant then followed that up by bringing up a video of Crowder hitting a buzzer-beating three that helped the Grizzlies get their first win of the 2019-20 season over the Brooklyn Nets.

Morant and Crowder were teammates for half the 2019-20 season. In the 45 games Crowder played, he averaged 9.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while shooting 36.8 percent from the field and 29.3 percent from three.

Crowder was then traded along with Andre Iguodala to the Miami Heat for Justise Winslow, James Johnson, and Dion Waiters. While Morant appears to be signaling that he would like to have Crowder back, it’s hard seeing the Suns trading Crowder to a team hoping to go on an extensive run like the Grizzlies are since the Suns have virtually the same goals.

It would not be surprising if the Suns try to move Crowder to an Eastern Conference team.

Why Crowder Wants Out

Usually players like Crowder would not want off a team that’s only one year removed from an NBA Finals run and is coming off a 60-win season, so him asking out is not typical behavior. John Gombadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix explained why Crowder no longer wants to play for the Suns.

It’s understandable that Crowder desires to play for a team in which he could start and/or finish games for his team because doing so would pave the way for another multiyear contract after his current deal runs out after this season.

That also makes it a little tricky regarding a possible reunion with the Celtics. While the Celtics could use him for wing depth, it’s hard to see a path that would allow him to start. At full strength, the Celtics starters would be Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III.

Williams’ arthroscopic surgery on his knee could pave the way for Crowder to join the starters if he was to be acquired, but given the Celtics guard depth with Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White, there would be no guarantee that he would finish.

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