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Jae Crowder: Devin Booker, Suns’ run in bubble attracted him to Phoenix

Miami Heat's Jae Crowder (99) shoots a three pointer against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half in Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Jae Crowder confirmed to Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo that other teams (Dallas) were offering him more money in free agency.

There were a handful of reasons he ultimately chose to sign a three-year deal with the Phoenix Suns, and the big one for him was the Valley’s young star.

“Being a competitor and going against Devin Booker for so many years, a player like that in our league who is a top, top talent. He’s a top talent in our league, and I just felt like as a player, he’s earned my respect on the court and he’s earned the league’s respect for the work he put in and I think it’s time for him to play some meaningful basketball,” he said.

As he made a run to the NBA Finals in the bubble with the Miami Heat, Crowder was paying attention to the Suns there too.

“The way they finished the season last year, everyone took notice,” he said. “Not only myself but the whole entire league took notice of how they came inside the bubble and handled business. And I noticed that and that attracted me to be here where I am today.”

Crowder was recruited to Phoenix by not only the front office, but Booker and Chris Paul themselves, who had conversations with the veteran wing as he was making his decision.

That decision included Crowder having those aforementioned enticing offers. At the end of the day, he spent a lot of time in his mind attempting to foresee where his future looked the best.

It was always Phoenix.

“I wanted to be able to be comfortable enough to build with a group of guys again … The situation here was unique because I had to envision myself once I got off the phone with a few guys from the organization and a few players,” he said. “I totally envision myself playing here and I can see it. And the other places, the other phone calls I had picked up, I couldn’t necessarily envision it.

“When I stepped back and thought about my decision, I totally saw myself playing here in Phoenix and helping these guys to the best of my ability. It never was about money for me, it was about the fit. And I feel like the fit here in Phoenix was like two people coming together and it working out.”


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