Suns GM James Jones staying patient, having Jae Crowder trade talks

Nov 30, 2022, 6:51 PM

Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Maverick...

Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks during the first half of Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 04, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

It has been more than two months since the Phoenix Suns announced that forward Jae Crowder would not be with the team in training camp, and the veteran remains on the roster despite his desire to be traded.

Suns general manager James Jones is remaining patient through this process but assured fans that the organization is not sitting on its hands.

“We’ve had conversations and those conversations are ongoing,” Jones said on Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo. “When something happens, it’ll happen. But we’re still only (20) games into the season with (62) to go. There’s still a lot of basketball left to be played. So we’ll be patient. We’re not waiting, but we’ll be patient to make sure that we find someone that’s the right fit.”

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported the Suns are looking for a power forward for Crowder on his podcast that posted Wednesday.

The Suns have marched on without Crowder, who had been a starter for two seasons and has this year remaining on his deal.

Phoenix entered Wednesday’s slate of games with the best record in the tight Western Conference at 14-6, even with Chris Paul and Cam Johnson missing significant time. It had the No. 2 offensive rating and No. 6 defensive rating in the league.

Jones, who was promoted to president of basketball operations and GM on Monday, said there is no perfect time to get a deal done. Players who signed as free agents last summer become eligible to be traded on Dec. 15, but Jones said that pool of players becoming available will not expedite the process.

“There’s no window where they say, ‘Hey, all deals are done here,'” Jones told reporters. “We have natural deadlines, like the trade deadline, we usually have a flurry of deals. But other than that, it’s just finding the right fit. And we just haven’t been able to find that yet.”

He praised the work forward Torrey Craig — who has filled in for Johnson who took Crowder’s spot in the starting five — and Damion Lee have put in this season to compliment set starters Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges.

The GM said Craig has served the team well with his defense and rebounding, while Lee has taken advantage of his chances.

Jones said a deal will get done at some point tp help the team going forward but noted that he trusts the players in the building.

“At the end of the day, what we’re talking about is where we end up, where we finish, not where we start,” Jones said.

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