The Miami Heat are considered threats to land veteran forward Jae Crowder from the Phoenix Suns, and in the opinion of one NBA insider, Heat forward Caleb Martin makes sense as a potential piece of a Crowder trade.
Michael Scotto spoke about the topic during a recent episode of a podcast.
“Miami has had interest in trading for Suns forward Jae Crowder,” said Scotto. “Moving Caleb Martin theoretically would work financially, and Miami has enough shooting in Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, and Gabe Vincent, where the Heat could withstand losing Martin. The question is if Phoenix wants to take on additional salary in the years to come.
“I’ve heard from some executives that Phoenix doesn’t want to take on much additional salary, if at all, ideally if Crowder is moved, and they’d like a forward back.”
Heat fans know what Crowder brings to the table, as he played for the team in the 2019-20 season. In 20 regular season games with Miami, he averaged 11.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 44.5 percent from deep.
In the 2020 playoffs, his efficiency dipped, but he still averaged 12.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He helped Miami reach the NBA Finals, where the team lost in six games to the Los Angeles Lakers.
He’d be a very noteworthy addition for the Heat this season, but some fans probably aren’t crazy about the idea of losing Martin.
The 27-year-old is in his second year with Miami. He’s averaging 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game this season while shooting 48.8 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from deep.
He has appeared in 23 games this season and started all of them. Crowder, on the other hand, hasn’t played this season.
Martin is under contract through at least the 2023-24 season and has a player option for the 2024-25 season.
It’s worth noting that Scotto’s comments don’t appear to imply that there has been buzz around the league about Martin being traded for Crowder. Rather, it seems as though Scotto just thinks it’s a move that would make some sense.
Whether the Heat end up trading for Crowder or not, the team could certainly use a boost. Miami hasn’t been over .500 all season. Every time the squad flirts with getting there, it can’t quite get over the hump.
As things stand now, the Heat are 11-13 in the 2022-23 campaign, and the season won’t be young for much longer.