That interest makes sense, given that the Cavs are currently still deciding on who will start at small forward (related Dribbles). Crowder could prove to be the perfect fit.
He has already played for the Cavs once, during the LeBron James era, appearing in 53 games with Cleveland during the 2017-18 season. President of basketball operations Koby Altman traded Crowder to the Jazz in February 2018. A
In that time, Crowder has become an experienced 3-and-D forward on winning teams, playing for the Heat during their run to Finals in the 2020 Disney bubble, then for the Suns on their way to the Finals the next season.
Last season, he was part of a Suns team that finished with the NBA’s best record before bowing out in the Western Conference semifinals, losing to the Mavericks in seven games.
Altman, of course, has proven not to be shy when it comes to making trades — the latest example being Mitchell, who came over in a blockbuster with the Jazz.
Moving a couple of their current small forward candidates may be enough to land Crowder, who requested a trade after reportedly learning his starting spot in Phoenix was not guaranteed.
“Jae brought a number of intangibles to the team, I think all of our guys would speak in that way about him,” Suns coach Monty Williams told reporters at media day. “At the same time, these things happen and you have to transition and move forward. I totally am behind (GM) James Jones and how we are handling this.”
Last season, Crowder appeared in and started 67 games, averaging 9.4 points on 40 percent shooting, to go with 5.3 rebounds and some strong perimeter defense.
Prior to training camp, he tweeted out a message that seemed to explain why he is seeking a trade.
“One must seek work where he is wanted… where he is needed!” he wrote. “I am thankful for what these past two years have taught me. Now, I must take on another challenge with continued hard work and dedication. For those of you who closed the door on me… Thank you! 99 back soon!”
The Heat, Mavericks, Celtics and Grizzlies are four other teams to watch in the Crowder sweepstakes, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. Crowder has also spent time with the Mavericks, Celtics and Grizzlies.