4:47pm: The Suns have confirmed in a press release that Crowder will sit out training camp. Crowder also responded with a brief message on Twitter.
“One must seek work where he is wanted… where he is needed!” Crowder wrote. “I am thankful for what these past two years have taught me. Now, I must take on another challenge with continued hard work and dedication. For those of you who closed the door on me… Thank you! 99 back soon!”
4:00pm: Jae Crowder and the Suns are hoping to find a trade for the veteran forward, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The 6’6″ forward will sit out Phoenix’s training camp as he and the Suns explore potential deals, Charania adds.
Fresh off a 2020 NBA Finals run as the Heat’s 3-and-D starting power forward, Crowder inked a three-year, $29.2MM deal with the Suns ahead of the 2020/21 season.
With Phoenix, Crowder made his second straight NBA Finals appearance in 2021 as the team’s starting power forward. Last year, he started all of his 67 healthy games with the club, which finished with a league-leading 64-18 record. For the 2021/22 season, Crowder averaged 9.4 PPG on .399/.348/.789 shooting splits, plus 5.3 RPG, 1.9 APG, and 1.4 SPG.
A deal involving Crowder had been rumored in recent weeks. Earlier this weekend, the 32-year-old tweeted an ominous post declaring that he would be absent from training camp before ultimately deleting the message.
Sharpshooting 6’8″ reserve power forward Cameron Johnson, the No. 11 pick out of North Carolina in 2019, emerged last year as a reliable scoring threat for Phoenix off the bench. The team could be looking to shore up its depth elsewhere in a potential Crowder deal, while elevating the 26-year-old Johnson to a starting role that seemed inevitable sooner rather than later.