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Report: Suns agree to 3-year deal with forward Jae Crowder

Miami Heat forward Jae Crowder guards Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo during the second half in Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Phoenix Suns have agreed to a three-year deal with free agent forward Jae Crowder, according to The Athletic‘s Shams Charania.

Crowder will be signed for $30 million, the full mid-level exception, per Charania.

Crowder, 30, played for the Miami Heat last season as they made a run to the NBA Finals. He averaged 11.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

The forward is an eight-year veteran who has a well-earned reputation as one of the toughest players in the league. While Crowder is only a career 34.0% three-point shooter, he recently shot 44.5% from deep on over six attempts a game for the Heat in 20 regular season games.

After being drafted 42nd overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, Crowder quickly established a defined role on the Dallas Mavericks for two-and-a-half seasons before being traded to the Boston Celtics. It was in Boston where Crowder solidified himself as a starter and a key wing for a playoff team.

Crowder bounced around from there, playing in Cleveland, Utah and Memphis, before the Grizzlies traded Crowder at the deadline this past season to Miami.

The signing of Crowder rounds out a wing group that had an opening after Kelly Oubre Jr. was included in a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder for Chris Paul. Crowder figures to slot in as the team’s other starting forward alongside Mikal Bridges, with second-year forward Cam Johnson coming off the bench as the team’s sixth man.

With a young core of Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Bridges, Johnson and Jalen Smith beside Paul, Phoenix was missing some experience in their rotation, which Crowder will certainly bring. He has 72 career playoff games and was also a part of the Celtics’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017.

Teams were legally allowed to begin speaking with free agents at 4 p.m. Friday, when a wave of reported signings came in. Official deals can be signed at 10 a.m. Sunday.

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