Nets Land Coveted Disgruntled Two-Way Wing in Proposed Trade

Brooklyn Nets

Getty Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns.

Even if the Brooklyn Nets (31-20) believe that the top of their roster can go toe-to-toe with most of the Eastern Conference, they still need more help around the margins around stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. That is something their 139-96 blowout loss to the Boston Celtics certainly underscored.

Irving was playing without Durant who is still sidelined with a sprained MCL that he hopes to return from ahead of the All-Star break. That is just over two weeks away and the Nets will play seven games before then.

Assuming Durant does make it back, that will go a long way to solving some of Brooklyn’s woes.

But, with only one week and three games until the February 9 trade deadline, they might want to fill out their ranks with disgruntled forward Jae Crowder.

Nets Could Use Jae Crowder

“The Nets…need another rugged forward to be able to throw out there in playoff games,” writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Brooklyn can’t win a size battle with, say, Joel Embiid. Instead, the Nets need to lean into what they are and put more length, quickness, and switchable defenders alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Crowder, in theory, can provide that. And if the Nets add Crowder, [Seth] Curry becomes even less likely to be part of a closing lineup in a playoff game in Brooklyn.”

Nets Get:

  • Jae Crowder

Suns Get:

“The Jae Crowder situation has dragged on all season long,” continues Bontemps. “It’s untenable for that to last through the deadline. At the same time, if the price Phoenix was looking for was one teams were willing to pay, this saga would’ve ended months ago. Thus, we find ourselves at an impasse.”

Crowder has been away from the Suns with whom he reached the NBA Finals in 2021.

He averaged 9.7 points on 55.7% true shooting over the last two seasons. The 32-year-old also has 86 starts in the playoffs across 107 games in his 10-year career which has seen him go to the postseason with five of the seven teams he has suited up for in his career.

His three-year, $29.1 million contract expires this summer but he insists this “has nothing to do” with money.

“This move of pushing me out the door was a blindsided hit to not only me but my teammates,” Crowder said in a text message to Bleacher Report NBA insider Chris Haynes. “I’m confused and hurt my coaches didn’t appreciate the things I brought to our team and organization.”

What Brooklyn Would Be Giving Up

“Brooklyn can at least give Phoenix a good player in Seth Curry, who can space the floor around Devin Booker and play off the ball,” Bontemps argues. “Curry’s contract is up after this season and Edwards has a team option for 2023-24, which, along with the extra second-round picks, would leave Phoenix with more options in the future as Mat Ishbia gets set to take over as owner.”

Curry, 32, has had back-to-back rough outings with just 13 points coming on 6-for-20 shooting across both contests. Before that, however, he was averaging 16.8 points better than 66% true shooting while knocking down over 46% of his threes since Durant went down.

Edwards, 22, saw over 20 minutes per night last season as a rookie but has had his role scaled back considerably this year under head coach Jacque Vaughn.

He has played in just 13 games this season and none since December 10; a 23-game span.

The Nets have been a team rumored among the more aggressive ahead of the February 9 trade deadline. Most estimations have them pursuing a big man to back up Nic Claxton but Crowder might afford them more versatility than some of the other options.

Nets Could Face Familiar Competition For Jae Crowder

Crowder’s services are in high demand despite no deal being struck yet. Phoenix gave the Milwaukee Bucks permission to meet with the disgruntled forward, per Shams Charania of The Athletic who also notes the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat as having an interest. Still, it has been Milwaukee who has made the most reported progress.

But, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on the February 1 episode of ‘Brian Windhorst and the Hoop Collective’, he does not believe that the Suns want to take back Bucks guard Grayson Allen in any deal for Crowder.

Milwaukee has offered Serge Ibaka – another potential Nets target – as well as veteran guard George Hill and young forward Jordan Nwora to grease the wheels, per Charania.

And yet, there is still an opportunity for Brooklyn to swoop in.

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