Report: Jae Crowder would ‘welcome’ a return to Miami Heat'
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The Phoenix Suns reportedly are shopping veteran forward Jae Crowder this offseason, and that could be a good sign for the Miami Heat.

According to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, Crowder would “welcome” a return to Miami. The Heat traded for Crowder during the 2019-20 season, and he was an integral part of the team’s run to the NBA Finals in the Orlando, Fla. bubble that season.

“We hear Jae Crowder would welcome a return to the Heat and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst — while not mentioning the Heat or any team — said the Suns are ‘are in trade negotiations right now.’” Jackson wrote. “A lot of them are centered around Jae Crowder. Jae Crowder is a player who is available on the market right now.’”

Crowder appeared in 20 regular season games for the team during the 2019-20 campaign. Throughout that stretch, Crowder shot 48.2 percent from the field and 44.5 percent from 3-point range while averaging 11.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.

It’s really hard to understate how important he was in the playoffs that season, as Crowder was money from beyond the arc for Miami.

Crowder’s ability to stretch the floor at the forward position was huge for the Heat, and he would be a perfect replacement for P.J. Tucker, who signed with the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason.

Last season for Phoenix, Crowder averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc. He is a plus defender that would help Miami against the likes of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and others in the Eastern Conference.

The only issue for a Heat reunion with Crowder may be the salary cap, as the teams would have to match salaries to make a deal happen.

“The problem is crafting a deal, within salary cap rules, that would satisfy both teams,” Jackson wrote. “It be surprising if the Suns were willing to take the final four years and $75 million of Duncan Robinson’s deal for Crowder, who is due $10.2 million in an expiring contract. It would be surprising if the Heat was willing to offer a first-round pick in a trade for Crowder.”

However, it’s possible the Heat are willing to part ways with a pick, possibly in the second round, or a young player to bring Crowder in after making such a deep run in the playoffs last season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.