A chaotic NBA offseason is coming to an end, but trade talks haven’t stopped as teams are looking to finalize their rosters ahead of training camp. A rumor that has been trending recently is that the Phoenix Suns are shopping former Memphis Grizzlies player Jae Crowder.
Crowder is a proven veteran whose 3-point shooting and defense could be valuable for any contender. It’ll be interesting to see which teams strike first and make a move to acquire the 32-year-old forward.
Looking at this trade, I find it extremely unlikely the Memphis Grizzlies would agree to it.
When I think of Jae Crowder’s stint with the Grizzlies, the first thing that comes to mind is the epic buzzer-beater he hit to beat the Brooklyn Nets in OT and hand Ja Morant the first win of his professional career. But, besides that, he didn’t really offer much.
In 45 games, Crowder averaged 9.9 points in almost 30 minutes, while shooting 29% from beyond the arc with 5.9 three-point attempts per game. He would end up getting traded to the Miami Heat before the trade deadline in the 2019-20 season.
Ironically, in Miami, he was a totally different player and a big reason the Heat made the Finals. Next season, he kept being valuable for the Suns and made another Finals appearance. However, he didn’t manage to make a difference in Memphis and I don’t think the case would be different if they acquired him this season.
The Grizzlies currently have a lot of options on the wings and forward position. Dillon Brooks is expected to have a healthy season while Ziaire Williams will be given a bigger role in the rotation. Santi Aldama, Jake LaRavia, and David Roddy should also get their chance.
Trading for a player that didn’t work out for them in the past to take up big minutes and delay the development of the younger players wouldn’t be wise for Memphis. It simply isn’t worth the risk and doesn’t fit what they are trying to build.
Another reason not to make this trade is that the Memphis Grizzlies would likely lose Xavier Tillman. Despite his inconsistencies last season, he is a high basketball IQ player that can play comfortably in Taylor Jenkins’ system. He currently is the team’s only backup center and with Jaren Jackson Jr. on the sidelines, he’ll most likely have an upgraded role in 2022-23.