EMPIRE OF THE SUNS
Report: Suns give Bucks permission to meet with Crowder; interested in Raps’ Anunoby
The Phoenix Suns have given the Milwaukee Bucks permission to meet with Jae Crowder, who remains a member of the Suns but is seeking a trade elsewhere, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Milwaukee is the only team that has reportedly received permission to speak with Crowder, the former Suns starter who has not been with the team this season due to a rift with the franchise.
Charania added that the parties already met over the weekend.
Charania adds that Phoenix and Milwaukee have discussed trade options around Crowder “for months,” and a current proposal involves wing Jordan Nwora, veteran guard George Hill and veteran big man Serge Ibaka, plus second-round draft picks. While Phoenix has one open roster spot, it would not be able to take back those three players and keep the roster as-is.
The Suns and Bucks have also attempted to include other teams in trades to get a deal done before the NBA trade deadline set for Thursday, Feb. 9.
Also included in Charania’s piece: The Suns apparently have interest in Toronto Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby, a versatile defender still just 25 years old and averaging 16.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game.
Phoenix had previously been linked to Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, as Toronto has several key pieces it could trade before the deadline.
Most likely for the Suns before then is to find something in return for Crowder, who is on an expiring $10.2 million deal.
Crowder averaged 9.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game last year and started 111 of 127 games in two seasons with Phoenix. The forward was a key cog for the team during its 2021 NBA Finals run and then helped the Suns win 64 games, a franchise record, last regular season.
Earlier in January, Crowder told Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes that he felt pushed out the door and “blindsided” by the leaders of the team, adding that he remained close and had support from current Suns players. Crowder through media members has said his issue with the team is not contractual nor related to Phoenix’s push to start forward Cam Johnson in his place.
The Bucks, Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks have been linked to Crowder as the Suns have remained patient regarding his situation.