The Miami Heat have been linked several times with a reunion with fan favorite Jae Crowder. However, Crowder is also doing his part in fueling rumors of a return to South Beach. The former Heat forward recently pinned a comment on his Instagram page encouraging the Heat to bring him back. The pin comes after a series of cryptic social media posts that some believe hinted at Crowder’s desire to be removed from the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona desert.
While the crowder opportunities were rife all summer, Brian Windhorst confirmed that the Suns are indeed buying the veteran up front. In the episode of 19 ESPN’s NBA Todaythe insider confirmed that Crowder is available on the NBA trade market.
“You have been very active over the last week. They run businesses. You are currently in trade negotiations. Now many of them are focusing on Jae Crowder. Jae Crowder is available on the market now. Will there be a deal for him that comes about before now and by next week’s close? That’ll have to be seen, but Jae Crowder is a guy in the final year of his contract and you know there’s a chance they could make a deal that would bring more money and Bobby back [Marks] and the people I speak to don’t feel like the Suns are afraid to keep spending.” said Windhorst. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the Suns got involved in negotiations for the Utah Jazz’s Bojan Bogdanovic, which is on the market right now. Several teams compete for him. Also, from what I’ve been told, they are negotiating a long-term contract extension with Cam Johnson. That wouldn’t affect this year’s salary, that will be later, but it suggests that they want to invest in another player in the long term.”
Even if Crowder is available, what it would take to trade for him remains unknown. The Suns are reportedly interested in entering the Bojan Bogdanovic Sweepstakes and may seek to include Crowder in those deals. As far as players could offer the Heat for the veteran forward, the name that’s been rumored to be Duncan Robinson. Would the Suns be interested in the shootouts and spacing he could provide to their second unit? Crowder wouldn’t deserve a bigger offer. Maybe a player with advantages like Omer Yurtseven, but the Heat would probably be hoping to keep him. At this point, even with all the links, it’s difficult to find a way to close the deal.
The urgency the Heat might attach to a Crowder discussion could depend on how they take on the role of PJ Tucker following his departure this offseason. Crowder is another hardened defensive big man who could sneak in and play a role similar to Tucker. Caleb Martin is currently set to step into the role. The Heat are said to be confident in Martin and what he can accomplish in an expanded role, but it’s unclear how effective it will be or if it’s the right role for the forward. If Miami has any hesitation or doubts about Martin, maybe they’ll be more aggressive in pursuing Crowder now that he’s officially on the Suns’ trading block.