Pacific Notes: Crowder, Paul, Ham, Green

Suns president of basketball operations James Jones said he hasn’t found the “right fit” to make a deal involving veteran forward Jae Crowder, Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports relays (Twitter video link). Crowder is sitting out while waiting to be moved.

“Just haven’t been able to get a deal done,” Jones said. “We have natural deadlines, like the trade deadline, where you 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.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns guard Chris Paul is “close” to returning, Jones said in another video link posted by Bourguet. “He’s been looking good and we’re still taking the long view,” Jones said. A heel injury has sidelined Paul since Nov. 7. Paul is still listed as out for Wednesday’s game against Chicago, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic tweets.
  • Lakers first-year coach Darvin Ham dealt with trade rumors during his playing career and hopes his current players take the same approach as rumors swirl around the franchise, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register writes. “I’ve dealt with that myself personally,” he said. “But you just have to have an approach that whatever jersey you put on, it’s a blessing to be in this league and handle it like a professional.”
  • Draymond Green‘s status with the Warriors franchise seemed tenuous after he punched Jordan Poole during a practice in training camp. However, Green has reestablished himself as an indispensable cog as they shoot for a second consecutive title, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. “I’ve said for years that Draymond is the heartbeat of our team,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s the guy who kind of makes everything go. He’s the motivator. He’s the bully who protects his teammates on the floor and talks trash. This guy is just so good at basketball.” Green holds a $27,586,225 option for the 2023/24 season.
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