According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Crowder decided to ask for a trade after finding out that he may not be the starting forward this season.
“Veteran forward Jae Crowder asked not to come to training camp, and the Suns announced they’d granted the request Sunday,” wrote Windhorst on Monday. “Crowder was informed over the summer that he may lose his starting job this season, sources said, and it prompted him to request a trade.”
It would seem that the outside notion surrounding Crowder fit the internal discussions amongst Phoenix brass. Forward Cameron Johnson is up for an extension, and both sides seem set on getting a deal worked out. Johnson also made significant strides last season to solidify himself as a minute-heavy forward.
Crowder was a huge part of the Suns’ identity defense-wise, but head coach Monty Williams could be in search for a better fit in his starting unit. There may have been a scenario in place where Crowder, 32, came off the bench. Yet after learning of his possible role, Crowder made his request to leave known.
Now, there will be multiple suitors in play for Crowder’s services. The Georgia native has ascended to a marquee 3-and-D player that can elevate any contending team.
The Athletic’s Sham Charania reported that teams such as the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat are interested in Crowder. In any scenario, Phoenix will want a decent return in a trade.
Crowder spent two seasons with Phoenix. During the 2021-22 campaign, Crowder aided the Suns in reaching the NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Even so, Crowder saw a decline in production last season. The 6-foot-6 forward averaged only 9.4 points, his lowest since playing for Dallas.