The Miami Heat lost their starting power forward PJ Tucker to the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason, and so far one of the biggest question marks for the Heat’s season is how they will fill that role. Caleb Martin is currently the player slotted to step in and while Martin certainly improved in Miami last season it is hard to guarantee what production he will bring.
After being waived by the Charlotte Hornets ahead of last season, Martin with the help of Grammy-Winning rapper J. Cole got an invitation to an open run with the Heat. Martin after getting a ten-day contract earned a spot on the Heat roster full time where he impressed, averaging 9.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. He has stated his belief that he could slide into the starting role in Miami, but perhaps the Heat will still look to bring in a proven veteran and still give Martin meaningful minutes off of the Heat bench.
If Miami was to look elsewhere for a veteran forward to slide into the starting role for the Heat one player that continues to be linked to the team is former Heat player Jae Crowder. Crowder averaged nearly 12 points per game and over five rebounds per game in the twenty games he played with the Heat in the 2019-20 NBA season. The forward has been linked by insiders like Ira Winderman, but Crowder himself has also put himself into some rumors by his behavior on social media.
Crowder and Miami Heat Reunion
The Heat have been reported to be interested in acquiring Jae Crowder, and Crowder appears to be open to the idea of returning to South Beach with the Heat. At the beginning of August, Crowder shared a cryptic tweet that stirred up trade rumors.
“CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.. GROWTH IS OPTIONAL.!! I BELIEVE ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE… I WANNA CONTINUE GROWING.!” Crowder tweeted.
Since then, the Heat have been discussed as the potential change for Crowder’s future. Crowder again helped fuel the rumors between the Heat and Phoenix Suns when he pinned a comment suggesting he returns to Miami on one of his Instagram.
Crowder posted a picture on August 31, saying, “THEY DIDNT BELIEVE IN ME..!! GOD DID.!” to which a fan replied, “@miamiheat believe the man! Pay the man! We want him back!” the fan commented.
Crowder Would Have to be Acquired via Trade
With the return of Udonis Haslem for his twentieth season in Miami, the Heat are too close to the salary cap and luxury tax range to sign another player in free agency, and any moves they make will have to be via trade. Crowder is locked into a contract with the Suns and could be bought out, but for him to land in Miami, it would need to come via trade.
If the Phoenix Suns were hoping to move on from Crowder, the Heat look to be a likely landing spot for the veteran forward if that happens and the Heat would welcome the tough-minded forward back to South Beach, and Crowder could likely fill the shoes of Tucker quite nicely.