According to Brian Windhorst, the man who knows everything in the NBA, the Phoenix Suns have made multi-positional defender Jae Crowder available via trade. The Philadelphia 76ers would be wise to trade for the underrated playoff veteran.
With a need for roster consolidation and a constant desire for three-and-D wings, Jae Crowder and the Sixers seem like a match made in heaven.
Crowder, a ten-year veteran of multiple playoff runs, is one of the most battle-tested players in the entire league. One of 23 active NBA players with over 100 career playoff games, he has had success everywhere he has been.
Jae Crowder was an integral part of the Isaiah Thomas Era Celtics (2014-17), the Miami Heat during their championship appearance in The Bubble (2019-20), and the Suns’ recent championship appearance in 2020-21. Crowder breeds success thanks to knowing his role and performing at a high level within that role, something that the Sixers would love to have on their team.
Last year, Crowder averaged 9.4 points per game on 34.8% shooting from deep. Despite having a down year shooting, he was extremely important to the Suns, securing the top seed in the Western Conference.
He also contributed 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game and averaged the second highest steals per game number in his career at 1.4 per game. Crowder contributes in many ways for the Suns and would be an incredible piece for any team, let alone the Sixers.
There are some complications and negatives about trading for Crowder, though. The Sixers would most likely attempt to trade multiple players in return for Jae Crowder, avoiding draft capital coming or going in the process. The most obvious way to do this is to combine Furkan Korkmaz (5.0 million), Matisse Thybulle (4.3 million), and Jaden Springer (2.1 million) into a 3-for-1 trade.
Although it would hurt to lose Thybulle’s incredible defense along with Korkmaz’s streaky shooting, each of these players has a capable replacement on the team. De’Anthony Melton brings excellent defense, similar to Tisse, along with being a better offensive fit. P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. bring offense higher than Korkmaz’s, along with solid or higher defense.
Adding Crowder would just be the cherry on top of this excellent offseason for the Philadelphia 76ers but might not be the best long-term move for the Sixers.
Crowder is 31 years old and on an expiring deal. If he decides to leave after this year, the Sixers would be trading a wing with the potential to be one of the best defenders in the NBA, a point guard who has barely been seen, and a shooting guard who has shown a willingness and resilience to better his game and remain loyal to the team.
A move like this could alienate many fans and players while further complicating next season’s free agency. If the Sixers trade for Crowder and he helps them win a championship, then all is forgiven. However, if he leaves in a year and Thybulle starts to show even more offensive progress, then the Sixers would have made a massive mistake.