Sixers Could Target NBA Finals Veteran in Potential Trade

Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Cam Payne, Joe Crowder

Getty Mikal Bridges #25, Cameron Johnson #23, Cameron Payne #15 and Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns react during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks

The Philadelphia 76ers appear to be done tweaking their roster with training camp set to begin in one week. Joel Embiid and James Harden demanded more mental toughness, and the front office responded in a big way by bringing in some certified dawgs.

P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, and Montrezl Harrell can bark among the best of them. The kennel is full, right? Maybe not. There is another player out there who checks all the boxes. He could be a perfect fit for the revamped Sixers squad and their All-Dawgs lineup.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Jae Crowder is “available on the market” and the Phoenix Suns are listening to offers. He averaged 9.4 points and 5.3 rebounds last season while shooting 34.8% from 3-point range in 67 games. 

“Whether or not there’s going to be a deal for him that materializes before now and next week’s trade deadline … we’ll have to wait and see,” Windhorst said. “But Crowder’s a guy in the last year of his contract and it’s possible that they could do a deal that brings back more money.”

Not sure what “deadline” Windhorst is referring to but the plugged-in reporter sees the Suns as trading Crowder to free up money to make another move. He mentioned Phoenix targeting Bojan Bogdanović in free agency; or using the extra loot to sign Cam Johnson to an extension.

This isn’t the first time trade rumors have surfaced on Crowder. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer brought them to light back in July when addressing Cam Johnson’s potential extension. He called Crowder and former Sixer Dario Saric as moveable pieces “to clear necessary wiggle room on Phoenix’s books.” Stay tuned.

Sixers Looking to Form ‘Scary Forward Rotation’

Crowder recently made back-to-back NBA Finals runs in Miami and Phoenix. He’s a pesky defender who can hold his own in the paint at 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds. The former Big East Player of the Year can also stretch the floor with his deep ball, especially those corner triples that Danny Green used to knock down with ease.

Throw the box score out. He’s a gamer. And Crowder does a lot of the same things 37-year-old P.J. Tucker does, only he’s five years younger (32). He’d form a scary forward rotation alongside Tucker, Tobias Harris, and Danuel House.

One slight problem: he’s due $10.2 million for the 2022-23 campaign (via Spotrac). That means the Sixers would have to get creative in a trade situation, most likely shipping Matisse Thybulle and Furkan Korkmaz out to Phoenix. And they might have to throw in a young player — Charles Bassey or Paul Reed — to make it work.

Sixers President Daryl Morey Counting on Tyrese Maxey

Tyrese Maxey has been the talk of the offseason in Philadelphia. He’s been in the gym 24/7, grinding and winning over the fan base. He’s expected to have an increased role, with many predicting him to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. Sixers president Daryl Morey has been reading and hearing all of it.

“The biggest inflection point is, probably, we need Maxey to take another step forward,” Morey told NBC Sports’ John Clark. “And he can do it. He’s putting the work in.

“His rookie year was way ahead of schedule. His second year was way, way ahead of schedule, and to ask him to do another leap forward is asking a lot, but we do need it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he does it given how much time he puts in.”

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