Jae Crowder Says He Was ‘Blindsided’ by Suns’ Decision to ‘Push Me Out Door’

Suns forward Jae Crowder has not played all season and indicated it’s not necessarily by choice.Jae Crowder

The Suns have been looking to trade Crowder ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline, and per multiple reports, it’s because Crowder either lost his starting job or wanted a contract extension. Because of that, he and the Suns determined that he would sit out until they could find a trade.

But Crowder put a different spin on things in a text to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.

“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 told Haynes. “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 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.”

Suns head of basketball operations James Jones nor coach Monty Williams have addressed the Crowder situation in recent weeks — though there is some belief that the sides could work out their differences before the end of the season.

If not, Crowder has been linked to the Bucks, as well as the Heat and several others. So a trade could indeed be on the way.

Crowder, 32, 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. But at this point, the Suns may be overvaluing him, as they continue to rebuff offers.

“It’s a weird dynamic. It’s one thing if Kevin Durant’s holding out because he’s not getting paid enough, but Jae Crowder? Seriously?” a rival GM told Steve Bulpett of Heavy Sports.

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