The Bucks and Suns have been seeking a third team to help facilitate a three-way trade centered on Phoenix forward Jae Crowder — and now the Suns have granted the Bucks permission to actually meet with Crowder, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The sides are expected to work out some sort of a deal before the Feb. 9 trade deadline, though nothing is imminent at the moment, sources told Hoops Wire.
Along with the Bucks, Crowder has also drawn interest from the Heat and Hawks, among “multiple” others, per Charania.
“The Bucks are believed to be the only team that has received permission to visit one-on-one with Crowder, those sources have also indicated,” Charania wrote. “Multiple teams, including the Miami Heat and Hawks, remain interested in Crowder, who is seen by championship-contending teams as a fortifying acquisition at the deadline.”
Milwaukee’s proposals for Crowder have included point guard George Hill, center Serge Ibaka, small forward Jordan Nwora and second-round picks, Charania added. Ibaka is also sitting out after he and the Bucks agreed to search for a trade.
Crowder, 32, has yet to play after he and the Suns agreed to search for a trade. He reportedly was unhappy with what his role was expected to be this season, leading to his trade request.
“I’ve spoken to every player that I’ve played with on that team and they all have stressed how much they miss [me] and respect my decision, and I’m thankful for their understanding,” Crowder recently told Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report. “This move of pushing me out the door was a blindsided hit to not only me but my teammates, as you can see from speaking to them and myself and the conversations we’ve had behind closed doors.
“I will continue to prepare myself daily for battle once the call is made and continue to be a leader on the court, locker room, as well as off the court. I am thankful my teammates appreciated my leadership. I’m confused and hurt that my coaches didn’t appreciate the things I brought to our team and organization. And this has nothing to do with financial or contract differences.”
Crowder appeared in 67 games last season (all starts), averaging 9.4 points on 40 percent shooting, to go with 5.3 rebounds and some strong perimeter defense.