The upcoming Jae Crowder deal is one of the final outstanding items from the offseason as the NBA season begins. The 10-year NBA veteran and the Phoenix Suns have amicably decided to split ways. Finding the ideal trading partner is the only thing left to accomplish. According to rumours, Crowder is reportedly considering a number of Eastern Conference teams, with the Miami Heat likely towards the top of his list. The main issue is that there aren’t many trade options given the Heat’s present contract situation. The ideal Heat-Suns trade that will move Crowder from the desert to South Beach is presented here since there is still a chance to complete a deal.
Suns get Duncan Robinson, Heat get Jae Crowder and Torrey Craig
Jae Crowder is a great trade target for the Heat and Suns. The gritty, versatile wing’s 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 40% 3-point shooting would benefit the squad in addition to fitting in perfectly with the Heat’s philosophy.
In fact, Crowder is the ideal replacement for P.J. Tucker, who left for the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason, due to both his mentality and his performance statistics.
The issue for the Heat is that they have some contractual restrictions on their actions.
The team’s primary players, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Kyle Lowry, all earn far too much money to be traded for a guy making $10 million in any case. Victor Oladipo and Caleb Martin cannot currently be traded because they each signed excellent, tradeable contracts worth $6 to $9 million this offseason. Oladipo also has the power of veto.
Finally, Miami’s other assets, like as Max Strus, a postseason star, or rookie Nikola Jovic, don’t earn enough money to be of much value in a Jae Crowder trade.
Only Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro are left now.
For the Suns, both players make sense. To make room for Chris Paul pick-and-rolls and Deandre Ayton on the interior, the team could require better 3-point shooting on the outside. The Sixth Man of the Year from last year, Herro, is perhaps a better option for the Suns. But that’s where things start to become tricky.
Herro agreed to a four-year, $120 million agreement this summer, but it won’t take effect until the following campaign. That means that even though he only makes $5.7 million this season, dealing with him can be challenging because he has a poison pill provision.
The poison pill clause prevents his contract from being valued at the $5 million he will earn this year in a trade rather than the $25.1 million the team receiving him would have to pay. A trade can involve a PPP player, but it hardly ever does. In actuality, only one player in NBA history—Devin Harris in 2008—has ever been traded while his contract included a PPP.
Robinson and his $16.9 million deal are the only real option for a Heat-Suns trade now that Herro is essentially off the table.
In 2021–2022, Robinson had a poor season. In 2020–21, he averaged 13.1 points, 1.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 43.9% of his 3-point attempts. In 2021–22, those figures dipped to 10.9 points, 1.6 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 39.9%.
Despite the decline in stats, Robinson might be able to turn things around by joining the Suns. Robinson could excel in a more brisk offence as a pure shooter (his 3-point attempts also decreased from 3.5 per game to 2.9 last season). The Suns had the ninth-fastest pace in the NBA in 2021–22, while the Heat had the third-slowest game.
It would seem reasonable to swap Jae Crowder for Robinson outright, but their salaries ($10 million for Crowder, $16 million for Robinson) don’t line up. The Suns would have to include veteran swingman Torrey Craig and his $5.1 million salary for the transaction to work.
The Suns are not doomed by the addition of Craig because they also signed Josh Okogie this offseason. Although Craig’s transfer to the Heat will free up time for Robinson and Okogie to alternate backing up Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges at the 2/3, the former Minnesota Timberwolves defensive stopper hasn’t been able to pass Craig on the depth chart yet.
That’s a lot to give up for Robinson, so the Suns might make an offer for another player instead, like Jovic or Strus, a lottery selection, or both. However, the longer the Crowder drama continues and he fails to impact the Suns’ season, the less valuable he becomes.
At some time, Phoenix might have to negotiate a deal for Crowder at a price of 50 cents on the dollar in order to obtain a living player who can aid the squad. When that occurs, trading Jae Crowder for Duncan Robinson in exchange for Torrey Craig and the forward for the Suns will benefit both parties.
The ideal Jae Crowder trade proposal the Heat must make to the Sun originally appeared on ClutchPoints.